Scientists have found evidence of water in mineral grains on the moon from an unknown source under the surface, NASA said.
"Using data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists remotely detected magmatic water, or water that originates from deep within the moon's interior, on the surface of the moon," the space agency said in a statement.
This marks the first time that this form of water has been detected from lunar orbit, but samples brought back by the Apollo astronauts had traces of magmatic water, NASA said.
"M3 imaged the lunar impact crater Bullialdus, which lies near the lunar equator. Scientists were interested in studying this area because they could better quantify the amount of water inside the rocks due to the crater's location and the type of rocks it held," NASA said.
The discovery of magmatic water from orbit means that scientists can now start testing "some of the findings from sample studies in a broader context, including in regions that are far from where the Apollo sites are clustered on the near side of the moon," NASA said.
The scientists' findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Aug. 25. EFE