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Home / Science / NASA instrument aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 confirms the presence of water ice on the moon

NASA instrument aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 confirms the presence of water ice on the moon



The lunar mineralogical mapper (M3) aboard the Indian space probe Chandrayaan-1 was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the moon, "NASA said.

Scientists have detected the presence of water ice the lunar surface confirmed US astronaut NASA (NASDAQ) announced on August 10 that it had received data from its instrument aboard the Indian space probe Chandrayaan-1, which had been commissioned 10 years ago.

The Lunar Minerals Mapper (M3) aboard Launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Chandrayaan-1 "spacecraft was uniquely designed to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon," NASA said in a statement.

A team of scientists led by Shuai Li from the University of Hawaii and Brown University and Richard Elphic from NASA's Ames Research Center in California n Silicon Valley used data from the M3 instrument to identify three specific signatures that provide the proof It is water ice on the surface of the moon.

"M3 collected data that not only captured the reflective properties that we would expect from ice, but also directly measured how their molecules absorb infrared light, distinguishing between liquid water or steam and solid ice," the statement added.

Frozen water deposits are in the darkest and coldest parts of the polar regions of the Moon, according to the analysis of scientists. They also observed the different distribution patterns of ice at the south and north poles.

"In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has observed direct evidence of water ice on the surface of the Moon, these ice deposits are spotty and possibly ancient.On the southern pole, most ice concentrates on lunar craters, while the ice of the northern pole is wider but sparsely distributed, "said NASA.

Recent research has shown that most newly found water ice lies in the shadow of craters near the poles of the moon. The warmest temperatures in these areas never reach over -250 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the axis of rotation of the moon is very small, sunlight never reaches those regions.

Earlier observations also indirectly indicated the possible signs of surface ice at the south pole of the Moon, but there was a possibility to explain them by other phenomena, such as unusually reflective lunar soil.

NASA also shares the hope that this finding could lead to an accessible water resource for future exploration on the Moon.

"With enough ice on the surface – within the upper few millimeters – water might be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the moon and possibly be more accessible than the water beneath the surface of the moon is discovered, "said the space agency.

These findings were published in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Chandrayaan-1, India's first lunar mission in 2008, set out to become the world's only natural satellite In the same year, data were taken from the M3 instrument used to give "clear evidence" of the presence of water molecules across the surface of the moon. Data provided by ISRO's hyperspectral imager, also on board the Chandrayaan-1, supports the evidence.

"We would like to thank ISRO for making the discovery possible, and it was believed that Moon was a very dry rocky surface until now," NASA said at the time.

ISRO is now preparing to launch its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, in just a few months. It will perform deeper exploration in the South Pole region of the Moon.


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