Moon’s interior could hold vast quantities of water – why is that good news?

TOPSHOT - A tree is silhouetted as a "supermoon" rises over Heho, Myanmar's Shan state, on November 14, 2016. Skygazers headed to high-rise buildings, ancient forts and beaches on November 14 to witness the closest "supermoon" to Earth in almost seven decades, hoping for dramatic photos and spectacular surf. The moon will be the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509 kilometres (221,524 miles), creating what NASA described as "an extra-supermoon". / AFP / YE AUNG THU        (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

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TOPSHOT - A tree is silhouetted as a "supermoon" rises over Heho, Myanmar's Shan state, on November 14, 2016. Skygazers headed to high-rise buildings, ancient forts and beaches on November 14 to witness the closest "supermoon" to Earth in almost seven decades, hoping for dramatic photos and spectacular surf. The moon will be the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509 kilometres (221,524 miles), creating what NASA described as "an extra-supermoon". / AFP / YE AUNG THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of Brown University scientists has discovered evidence suggesting the moon is hiding a lot more water than previously thought.

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The researchers studied layers of lunar rock samples containing tiny glass beads formed from magma inside the moon billions of years ago, trapping water inside them.

After examining satellite data to see where else those glass beads are located, the scientists found high levels of beads, suggesting high levels of water, inside the numerous deposits of volcanic material across the moon's surface.

The discovery of water inside those deposits "bolsters the idea that the lunar mantle is surprisingly water-rich,” the researchers said in a news release.

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The findings, published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, show where exactly those water-rich areas are (near the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 landing sites), but they don't conclude how much water there is.

But why is this good news?

Scientists have speculated the possibility of water in the lunar poles, but those areas are much more difficult to access. If water exists in these volcanic (or "pyroclastic") deposits, it'll be significantly easier for them to access, lead author Ralph Milliken said.

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And importantly, huge pockets of water on the moon could save explorers from having to transport water from earth to space, which is both a heavy hassle and huge expense.

Read more here.

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