Most of the newly discovered ice can be found in the shadows of the craters at the poles.
The ice deposits are irregularly distributed and can be old. / Nasa
The expected confirmation of the presence of water ice in the Surface of the moon It is found in the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions. According to a recent work published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Pnas, these ice deposits they are irregularly distributed and can be old. While you are on the South Pole, most of the ice is concentrated in moon craters, the ice of the North Pole is more extensive, but scattered.
Most of the newly discovered ice it is in the shadow of the craters at the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach -156ºC. Because of the slight tilt of the rotation axis of the moon, sunlight never reaches this region. The team of scientists who have made the discovery, from the universities of Hawaii and Brown and the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, USA, used data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, M3, from NASA To identify three specific signatures that absolutely prove that there is water ice on the surface of the moon.
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M3, aboard the spaceship Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008 by the Space Research Organization of India, collected data Not only did they collect the reflective properties we would expect from the ice, they could also directly measure the distinctive shape in which their molecules absorb infrared light.so that you can distinguish between liquid water or steam and solid ice.
Previous observations they had indirectly found possible signs of ice on the surface at the moon south polebut these could be explained by other phenomena, such as the unusually reflexive lunar floor. With enough ice on the surface, within the first few millimeters, water will likely be accessible as a source for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the moon, and possibly more easily accessible than water detected below the surface of the satellite.
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It seems that, little by little the earth is holding on to the only body with water in the solar system. A few weeks ago, the discovery of a large lake of liquid water in the polar areas of Mars was published in Science, and the data collected by the New Horizons probe revealed that in Pluto there is a large underground ocean.
Beatriz de Vera
This news was originally published in N + 1, a science that stands out.