Scientists Have Found Solid Proof Of Ice On The Moon, Which Is Chill

Finally, those astronauts don’t have to worry about their drinks being warm!!! Just kidding, folks. Just a little humour, between you and me. They probably need ice for other stuff too, I guess. Whatever its ultimate purpose, the planet’s finest moon scientists are rejoicing at the discovery of proof of ice in multiple locations on the surface of the Moon.

The paper Direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in the lunar polar regions, published yesterday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines exactly what it says on the tin: direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in the lunar polar regions.

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Scientists have suspected that there might be ice on the moon’s surface for quite a while, thanks to observations made by the Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 and NASA‘s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which indicated the presence of hydrogen. Although, as the University of Hawaii‘s Dr Shuai Li told the ABC, the presence of hydrogen itself doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of water:

It could be hydrogen, it could be hydroxl, it could be water, or could be anything else with hydrogen. The data cannot distinguish which is which.

Dr Li and his team used data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (a spectrometer that was included on the Chandrayaan-1 when it was launched in 2008) to determine conclusively that the hydrogen was in fact solid ice. The resultant analysis found small amounts of ice at the bottom of craters at both poles of the moon.

The near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy used by the MMM allowed the team to differentiate between actual ice and “OH and H2O in other forms (e.g., liquid, surface adsorbed, or bound in minerals)“.

The report observes that “these ice deposits might be utilized as an in situ resource in future exploration of the Moon“, basically meaning if there is a way to cultivate water on the moon, it would save future moon-residents the effort of having to cart it up from Earth, which is a Whole Bloody Thing.

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