Researchers Estimate Ice Content of Crater at Moon’s South Pole (by NASA Goddard Photo and Video)
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has returned data that indicate ice may make up as much as 22 percent of the surface material in a crater located on the moon’s south pole.
The team of NASA and university scientists using laser light from LRO’s laser altimeter examined the floor of Shackleton crater. They found the crater’s floor is brighter than those of other nearby craters, which is consistent with the presence of small amounts of ice. This information will help researchers understand crater formation and study other uncharted areas of the moon. The findings are published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature.
Credit: NASA/Zuber, M.T. et al., Nature, 2012