Researchers at the University of California says that there could be way more ice water on the surface of the Moon than previously believed – and that could be an enormous deal for future missions to the Moon.
By comparing shaded areas which can be protected from the Sun on the surface of Mercury with related shadowed craters on the Moon, they concluded that ice deposits, sometimes several meters thick, may survive inside shadowed craters near the Moon’s south pole.
Since they’re shielded from the Sun and endure temperatures as low as -233 Celsius at night, the interiors of these craters could harbor loads of ice, according to the researchers. Their analysis was printed within the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday.
The group analyzed information from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, a robotic orbiter that spent four years within the orbit of Mercury, and found that it advised there could be caches of ice in permanently shaded craters.
Previous proof collected by NASA’s LRO probe, which crashed into the surface of the Moon in 2009, means that some of its craters partially consisted of water and ice vapor.
Different research, revealed earlier this month by scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, additionally discovered that these south pole craters could house and trap water – however substantially less than what the group from the University of California is now suggesting.