The moon is generally thought of as a dry, dusty region, and that perception is accurate. But there is ice at moon pole, especially near its south pole, where it is concealed in dark craters. It has been a little unclear how the ice got there, but recent research reveals it may have come from a variety of sources, both recent and old.
According to one research, water molecules may be detected in the sunny regions of the moon, which are roughly 100 times drier than the Sahara Desert, in minute, trace amounts. Ashley Strickland for CNN. According to a different group of experts, the amount of ice kept cool by persistent shadows at the poles may be 20% greater than previously believed and may be accessible outside of difficult-to-reach craters, as Maya Wei-Haas of National Geographic reported.
Using equipment on board spacecraft, scientists found very small amounts of water on the surface of the moon in 2009. However, the instrument they were employing was unable to distinguish between water and hydroxyl, a molecule made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom.
Moon surface with ice deposits located and mentioned with names
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a nine-foot, 17-ton telescope that NASA used to obtain a more precise estimate. A portion of the infrared spectrum that can only detect water can be used by SOFIA.
Lead author Casey Honniball of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center told National Geographic that using information gathered by SOFIA, researchers discovered that about 12 ounces of water are trapped in a cubic meter of soil. According to Sid Perkins for Science, the water is either trapped in the glassy materials left behind by micrometeorite impacts or among the shaded regions of lunar soil.
To be precise, Honniball tells Kenneth Chang for the New York Times, "To be clear, it’s not puddles of water, but instead water molecules that are so spread apart that they do not form ice or liquid water."
Micrometeorites and meteorites are constantly striking the surface of the Moon. The lunar craters reveal that many of these impactors were quite massive objects and that many of them contain water ice. Any ice that made it through impact would be dispersed throughout the lunar surface.
The majority would be quickly vaporized by sunlight and lost to space, but some would make it inside the craters that are permanently in shadow, either by entering them directly or migrating over the surface as randomly moving individual molecules that would eventually reach the craters and freeze there.
Ice would eventually accumulate in these "cold traps" and get partially buried by meteorite gardens because it would be reasonably stable once within the crater. As early as 1961, such a possibility was raised. However, it is difficult to quantify the amount of ice lost as a result of photodissociation, solar wind sputtering, and micrometeoroid gardening.
Moon surface with water in a cold trap
In the chilly, always-shadowed craters in the Moon's poles, scientists have discovered water ice. The incredibly tiny lunar atmosphere contains water molecules as well.
Scientists have discovered water ice deposits in the dark, deep Shackleton Crater, which is close to the south pole of the moon. The ice might provide new information about the past of the moon and the solar system.
Since the Moon lacks an atmosphere, anything on its surface is immediately exposed to a vacuum. The low gravity of the Moon makes it impossible for gas to be held there for any length of time; therefore, for water ice, this implies that it will quickly sublime directly into water vapor and escape into space.
Satellite image of moon with ice deposits located
This article gives you information about ice at moon pole. It is a new scientific discovery, and there are different reasons provided by scientists as to where this ice came from.