Lunar ice exposures (black dots) and cold traps not showing ice (cyan circles)
Credit: Shuai Li, et al.


The view that Earth’s Moon is a foreboding, dried out, desolate world may be all wet.

The first direct and definitive evidence for surface-exposed water ice in areas of permanent shadow at the moon’s polar regions is being claimed by a research team.

NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, or M3, instrument flew aboard Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to the moon, and provided the first mineralogical map of the lunar surface.
Credit: NASA/JPL

The finding is based on detection of near-infrared absorption features of water ice in reflectance spectra acquired by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. It flew as part of the scientific payload onboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft that circuited the moon in 2008-2009.

Check out my new Scientific American article that details the new finding and its significance. Go to:

Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt, Water Ice Exists on the Moon – Deposited in perpetually dark craters around the poles, the ice could be a boon for future crewed lunar outposts



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