Scientists have confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that there is ice on the surface of the moon – a discovery that could one day help humans survive there.
Ice on the Moon has been reported Scientists have been observing for years, but earlier observations may have been explained by other phenomena, such as unusually reflective lunar soil, the authors said.
"This is the first time that scientists have clear evidence of the presence of water ice on the surface." Lead author Shuai Li of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology told AFP.
The ice lies mainly in the cold shadows of the lunar poles and was discovered using instruments that flew on the Chandrayaan 1 spaceship in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization
Using data from the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3 ), Researchers identified three chemical signatures "that definitely prove that there is water ice on the surface of the moon," said a NASA statement.
The polar regions in which the ice lies are "super cold". Li said that the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-157 Celsius).
It is not known exactly how much ice is present on the surface, since the instruments could only detect ice within a few millimeters of the lunar surface (19659005). But NASA said that if there was enough of the ice, "there would be water may be available as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the moon. "
The US space agency wants to achieve this in the coming years for the first time since the legendary Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s to bring people back to the moon.
Li said the best way to find out more about the ice of the moon and how to use it as a resource is to send a robotic rover to ex. Consider the lunar poles.
The full study was published on Monday in the issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.