Water ice found on the Moon

Posted: August 21, 2018 by oldbrew in Astronomy, News, solar system dynamics

Mosaic of images of the Moon taken by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper. Blue shows the signature of water [image credit: NASA]

Even Mercury has polar water ice, despite being much closer to the Sun, so perhaps this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

Lunar scientists have confirmed the ‘definitive’ discovery of water ice on the surface of the Moon, reports the BBC’s Sky At Night magazine.

Astronomers have ‘definitively’ proven the existence of water ice on the surface of the Moon.

The ice deposits could be ancient, and have been found at the lunar poles.

Most of the ice at the southern pole is concentrated at craters, and at the northern pole the ice is more widely, yet sparsely spread.

The scientists behind the discovery used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) to discover three signatures that, they say, prove there is water ice on the lunar surface.

The discovery may have implications for future manned missions to the Moon, given that a water supply would be an invaluable resource.

However, most of the water ice is found in the shadows of craters, where temperatures never reach above -156°C.

The Moon is tidally locked with Earth, meaning the same side always faces our planet, and given the Moon’s small tilt about its rotational axis, sunlight never reaches these cold regions.

Continued here.

  1. JB says:

    Proof to me is getting physical samples and testing for water. Until then it could also be something that mimics those characteristics.We don’t have pie-in-the-sky, Star Trek sensor arrays yet.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Report: M3 was able to detect the reflective properties of the water ice and confirm its presence by measuring how the ice molecules absorb infrared light.