Back in November, last year, they confirmed existence of water, which brought lot of excitement.
NASA‘s Mini-SAR instrument, a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar, found more than 40 small craters with water ice. Each of these craters range in size from 2 to15 km in diameter. It’s estimated there could be at least 1.3 trillion pounds (600 million metric tons) of water ice.
Many of the permanently shadowed regions, have now been imaged, that exist at the poles. These regions are extremely cold and it has been assumed that volatile material, including water ice, could be present in quantity here.
It’s discovered that a large number of craters near the poles are permanently on-shadow from the Sun. Hence, these regions are pretty cold and Ice persists throughout the year. Scientists also predict that the ice must be relatively pure and at least a couple of meters thick.
“The emerging picture from the multiple measurements and resulting data of the instruments on lunar missions indicates that water creation, migration, deposition and retention are occurring on the moon,” said Paul Spudis, principal investigator of the Mini-SAR experiment at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. “The new discoveries show the moon is an even more interesting and attractive scientific, exploration and operational destination than people had previously thought.”
It’s a great discovery so far, but it’s far from where we can hope for “life on moon”, in the absence of atmosphere that can hold-on to oxygen and other building blocks for life.