NASA discovers ice in Shackleton crater on the moon

Jun 21, 2012
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NASA discovers ice in Shackleton crater on the moon

One of the things NASA has longed to discover on the moon is the existence of water ice. There have been numerous scientific missions dedicated to the task of discovering ice on the moon. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is now helping scientists to confirm of the existence of water ice on the moon. The discovery was made on the floor of Shackleton crater.

Scientists believe almost a quarter of the crater, which is located on the moon's south pole, is covered with water ice. Scientists used the LRO's laser altimeter, which is capable of measuring depths of about 1 micron to make the discovery. According to the scientists floor of the crater was brighter than the floor of craters nearby, hinting at the presence of ice.

Shackleton crater is very large at 2 miles deep and more than 12 miles wide. The reason the crater has been studied so intently for ice deposits is that the interior of the crater is permanently dark. This is an interesting discovery that scientists will certainly continue to study.

"While the distribution of brightness was not exactly what we had expected, practically every measurement related to ice and other volatile compounds on the moon is surprising, given the cosmically cold temperatures inside its polar craters."

[via TGDaily]


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