Hubble Does Not Detect Water On Moon

10.13.09 | FL News Team

The Hubble Space Telescope did not detect water on the moon during an experiment late last week. Two spacecraft, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite or LCROSS, and part of the rocket that took it to the moon were intentionally crashed on the lunar surface. The idea was to create a plume of moondust that would, hopefully, contain water molecules. The Hubble Space Telescope was trained on the crash target and astronomers collected sensor readings. They hoped to see a specific chemical that would have been produced if water molecules had been thrown into sunlight and then broken apart by the ultraviolet radiation. Scientists announced preliminary analysis of the Hubble data shows no evidence of the chemical, no water.


The satellite and Centaur rocket booster were crashed into a crater at the south pole of the moon early on October 9th. The impact was a disappointment to many backyard amateur astronomers who'd been told the resulting plume if dirt would rise several miles above the moon's surface and would be visible through ordinary telescopes. The plume didn't materialize as advertised.