PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 22 (UPI) — The phrase “by the light of the silvery moon” is more than just poetic, scientists say — the moon really does contain deposits of the precious metal.
The surprise discovery was made when NASA crashed a rocket into a lunar crater and analyzed the material thrown up by the impact to see if it contained water, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Water was found, scientists say, by they also discovered a treasure trove of elements including traces of silver.
In addition to the silver, the analysis found mercury, calcium, magnesium, carbon monoxide and dioxide, ammonia and sodium in the target crater of Cabeus in a permanently shaded area of the moon with temperatures as low as minus 396 degrees F.
“This place looks like it’s a treasure chest of elements, of compounds that have been released all over the moon, and they’ve been put in this bucket in the permanent shadows,” Peter Schultz from Brown University says.
The discovery of minute traces of silver “doesn’t mean we can go mining for it” since levels are far too low to make it worth opening a lunar silver mine, Schultz says.
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