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Looking Skyward: NASA Finds More Water Than Expected on the Moon

Two new studies suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed "cold traps" at lunar polar regions.

"We announced that, for the first time, we've confirmed H2O in sunlit areas of the moon. This indicates that water might be distributed across the lunar surface," NASA tweeted Oct. 26 from its moon-related account.

For decades the moon was thought to be bone dry. But 11 years ago, research found that water was relatively widespread in small amounts on the far side of the moon. A team of scientists is now reporting the first clear detection of water molecules in sunlit areas.