A team of scientists immediately observed the definitive evidence of water ice on the surface of the Moon, especially in the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions. These ice deposits are irregularly distributed and can be old. In the South Pole most of the ice is concentrated in the moon craters, while the ice in the North Pole is more extensive, but dispersed.
The team, led by Shuai Li from the University of Hawaii and Brown University, and including Richard Elphic of the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, used data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. NASA to identify three specific signatures that absolutely prove that there is water ice on the surface of the moon.
M3, aboard the spaceship Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008 by the Space Research Organization of India, was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the moon. He collected data that not only collected the reflective properties that would be expected of ice, but also the way in which his molecules absorb infrared light can measure directly, so that he can distinguish between liquid water or vapor and solid ice.
Most of the newly discovered ice can be found in the shadows of craters at the poles, where the warmest temperatures are never higher than -250 degrees Fahrenheit (-156 degrees Celsius). Due to the very small slope of the moon's axis of rotation, sunlight never reaches these areas.
Earlier observations indirectly found possible signs of surface ice on the moon south pole, but these could be explained by other phenomena, such as the unusually reflective lunar soil.
With enough ice on the surface, within the first few millimeters, water is likely to be accessible as a source for future expeditions to explore and stay on the moon, and may be easier to reach than water detected under the surface of the moon .
Learning more about this ice cream, how it got there and how it cooperates with the larger lunar environment will be an important goal of the mission for NASA and business partners. The findings were published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Confirmado.net / EUROPA PERS