NASA’s officials reported earlier that the US agency’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument, installed on India’s Chandrayaan-I, discovered ice water on the Moon.
According to NASA, the agency’s M3 instrument aboard Indian lunar probe, Chandrayaan-I, operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation and launched in 2008, “collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we’d expect from ice, but was able to measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light directly.” In this way, NASA said, “it can differentiate between liquid water or vapor and solid ice.”
This discovery is not coming as a big surprise, however, as scientists have thought for some time now that the Moon is housing ice water. But, the measurements made by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument provided the most definitive evidence that, indeed, there is ice water on the Earth’s natural satellite.
There is ice water on the Moon, hidden in the shadows of the craters
According to the readings of the M3 instrument aboard Chandrayaan-I, the ice water on the Moon is hidden in the shadows of the craters at the Moon’s poles. In those regions, the maximum temperature never exceeds minus 153 degrees Celsius. Because of these low temperatures the ice water at the lunar poles never changes its form, remaining frozen.
“At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole’s ice is more widely, but sparsely spread,” stated NASA’s officials.
According to the US space agency, this discovery is of great significance for the upcoming manned mission to the Moon, as it can be used as a resource, also on the long-term for the future Moon colony.
However, this is not the first time scientists say that our planet’s companion houses water. At the beginning of this year, a study revealed that the Moon might also hold vast amounts of water spread on the lunar surface.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.