Earth seen from Moon, Apollo 8 image by NASA
There is an eye-catching phrase in the Hotsuma Tsutae: Tuki no Mitu, Water of the Moon. Tuti means moon, and mitu means water. See the large Wosite characters for mitu. The phrase is the first column of the verse.
The passage consists of lines 2610-2613 in Hotsuma Tsutae. The verse reads:
tuki no mitu kutaseru tuyu ha kawa no mitu utuho ukure ha kumo to nari ti-ayumi nohoru hani no iki
This is a description of the water cycle where water comes down as dew and rain into rivers which then evaporate to form clouds and the cycle repeats.
August 30, 2017
This passage made us wonder if tuki no mitu, water of the moon, really meant that there is water on the moon. If the people of the Wosite World are correct, isn’t it amazing that they knew this before we moderns did?
News confirming this came out recently. Previous reports as early as 2009 indicated that there might be water present on the moon. Excerpts from three news articles dated 2017, 2013, and 2009 are given below.
News report August 2, 2017
A new study of satellite data suggests that the moon’s interior is surprisingly water-rich.
The research, published July 24, 2017 in Nature Geoscience, finds that numerous volcanic deposits across the surface of the moon contain unusually high amounts of trapped water.
The researchers found evidence of water in nearly all of the large pyroclastic deposits – that is, deposits of rock fragments erupted by a volcano – that had been previously mapped across the moon’s surface, including deposits near the Apollo 15 and 17 landing sites where the water-bearing glass bead samples were collected.
The idea that the interior of the moon is water-rich raises interesting questions about the moon’s formation, say the researchers. For example, scientists think the moon formed from debris left behind after an object about the size of Mars slammed into the Earth very early in solar system history. One of the reasons scientists had assumed the moon’s interior should be dry is that it seems unlikely that any of the hydrogen needed to form water could have survived the heat of that impact.
Shuai Li is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii and co-author of the study. Li said:
The growing evidence for water inside the moon suggest that water did somehow survive, or that it was brought in shortly after the impact by asteroids or comets before the moon had completely solidified. The exact origin of water in the lunar interior is still a big question.
Previous News Articles
May 9, 2013
Water inside the moon’s mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth.
The findings raise new questions about the process that formed the moon.
The moon is thought to have formed from a disc of debris left when a giant object hit the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, very early in Earth’s history. Scientists have long assumed that the heat from an impact of that size would cause hydrogen and other volatile elements to boil off into space, meaning the moon must have started off completely dry. But recently, NASA spacecraft and new research on samples from the Apollo missions have shown that the moon actually has water, both on its surface and beneath.
By showing that water on the moon and on Earth came from the same source, this new study offers yet more evidence that the moon’s water has been there all along.
November 13, 2009
‘Significant Amount’ of Water Found on Moon, By Andrea Thompson
It’s official: There’s water ice on the moon, and lots of it. When melted, the water could potentially be used to drink or to extract hydrogen for rocket fuel.
NASA’s LCROSS probe discovered beds of water ice at the lunar south pole when it impacted the moon last month, mission scientists announced today. The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way.