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Ice Exists at Moon's Pole, Scientists Confirmed

"In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface" - NASA

Scientists have confirmed the existence of ice on the surface of the Moon for the very first time. This discovery could one day help us humans survive there.

For years, scientists have been reporting that there are signs of ice on the Moon but with previous observations, they could be explained by other phenomena, like an unusual reflective lunar soil, the study authors said.

“This is the first time scientists have definitive evidence for the presence of water ice on the surface,” lead author Shuai Li of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology told AFP.

Back on 2008, the Indian Space Research Organization launched an instrument that flew on the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and this was the tool that were used to detect the ice that mainly lies in the frigid shadows of craters at the lunar poles.

With the help of the NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument, researchers identified three chemical signatures that definitely prove that there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.

Moon Polar Regions
Photo by JPL.NASA.gov

The polar regions where the ice lies are “super cold,” Li said, noting that the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-157 Celsius). "It is unclear exactly how much ice exists on the surface, since the instruments could only detect ice within a few millimeters of the Moon’s surface" he said.

On the other hand, NASA said that if there is enough of the ice, "water would be possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon."

The US space agency is aiming to return humans to the Moon in the coming years for the first time since the controversial Apollo missions ofthe 1960s an 1970s.

"Learning more about this ice, how it got there, and how it interacts with the larger lunar environment will be a key mission focus for NASA and commercial partners, as we endeavor to return to and explore our closest neighbor, the Moon." - NASA

The full study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 20, 2018.


Wrap Up

Since the last expedition, humans has never returned to the Moon but things might be different now. There was a lot of rumors regarding that human's first landing to the Moon and of why we never came back even though our technology is already modern and capable than before but after learning about NASA's plan, it would be something to look forward in human's history.

How about you, what do you think about this topic?

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