Latest news in Yorkshire: August 28, 2018 01:47:45 PM
For the first time, scientists have found what they say is definitive
evidence of water ice on the surface of the moon.
The discovery suggests that future lunar expeditions might have a readily
available source of water that would make it easier “to explore and even
stay on the moon,” officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a
statement Tuesday about the discovery.
The ice was detected at the darkest, coldest regions of the moon’s north and
south poles. It exists in sparse patches in the north and is concentrated in
permanently shadowed craters in the south, where temperatures never climb
above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Previous research had shown the existence of water deep beneath the lunar
surface. There was also tentative evidence of water ice on the surface at
the lunar south pole, but no proof until now.
The discovery, described in a paper published Aug. 20 in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was made by a team of
scientists led by Shuai Li, a researcher at the University of Hawaii’s
Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.
The team analyzed data obtained by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
instrument aboard Chandrayaan-1, an Indian spacecraft that explored the moon
in 2008 and 2009.
The data showed three chemical “signatures” that proved the presence of
water ice, as opposed to liquid water or water vapor
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