Since some years there have been ice traces on the moon, but previous observations could be explained for other reasons – for example the presence of unusual light-reflecting stones, according to the authors of the research.
"This is the first time that scientists have irrefutable evidence of water ice on the surface," said Shuai Li, a Hawaiian Institute for Geophysical and Planetary Studies at AFP, a news agency.
The ice is usually located in the shaded areas of the moon craters at the poles. Frozen water was detected by devices launched in 2008 by the Orbital Probe Chandrayaan 1 of the Indian Space Research Organization.
At that time, researchers using the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spectrometer mounted on this machine, identified three chemical traces that "reliably prove that there is ice on the surface of the moon is ", according to a NASA report.
The spatial areas where ice fields are found are "super-matt", Shuai Li remarked. According to him, the temperature there is never higher than minus 157 degrees Celsius.
However, it is still unclear how much of this surface ice reserve is in stock, because bypass gears can detect freezing water at a depth of no more than a few millimeters, according to the researcher.
On the other hand, if there is enough ice, this water can be available as a resource for future expeditions to the moon to explore or even stay there, "NASA added.
The US space agency aims to fly back to the moon in the coming years. Such missions would be the first departure of the Apollo crew on the natural satellite of the planet in the 7th and 8th centuries.
Shuai Li said that the best way to learn more about the moon's ice resources and the possibilities of using them is to send a moon to explore the polar regions.
This studio was published Monday in the issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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