Saturday, August 15, 2020
Home Lead Story Moon, Mercury May Have Far More Water Ice Than Previously Thought

Moon, Mercury May Have Far More Water Ice Than Previously Thought

The Chandrayaan-1 mission found evidence of water on the Moon

Earth’s Moon and Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, may have far more water ice than previously thought, new evidence suggests.

“If confirmed, this potential reservoir of frozen water on the Moon may be sufficiently massive to sustain long-term lunar exploration,” said Noah Petro, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The potential ice deposits are found in craters near the poles of both Moon and Mercury, said the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“We found shallow craters tend to be located in areas where surface ice was previously detected near the south pole of the Moon, and inferred this shallowing is most likely due to the presence of buried thick ice deposits,” said lead author Lior Rubanenko of the University of California, Los Angeles.

In the past, telescopic observations and orbiting spacecraft have found glacier-like ice deposits on Mercury, but as of yet not on the Moon.

The new work raises the possibility that thick ice-rich deposits also exist on the Moon.

The research may not only help resolve the question regarding the Moon’s apparent low ice abundance relative to Mercury, but it could also have practical applications.

Mercury
We know so little about the planet Mercury. 

The poles of Mercury and the Moon are among the coldest places in our solar system. Unlike Earth, the spin axes of Mercury and the Moon are oriented such that, in their polar regions, the Sun never rises high above the horizon.

Consequently, polar topographic depressions, such as impact craters, never see the Sun. For decades it has been postulated these so-called permanently shadowed regions are so cold that any ice trapped within them can potentially survive for billions of years.

Previous observations of the poles of Mercury with Earth-based radar revealed a signature characteristic of thick, pure ice deposits. Later, NASA’s MESSENGER – the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft – imaged these ice deposits.

Previous radar and imaging studies of the Moon, whose polar thermal environments are very similar to those of Mercury, found only patchy, shallow ice deposits.

Also Read: Facebook, Instagram Down Again for Many Users

The study used elevation data obtained by MESSENGER and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to measure approximately 15,000 simple craters with diameters ranging from 2.5 km to 15 km on Mercury and the Moon.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on July 22 launched the Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission in order to explore the topography of the Moon and its composition and will search for water besides conducting in-situ studies.

The Chandrayaan-1 mission found evidence of water on the Moon. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

18,956FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,779FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Facebook Starts Merging Instagram and Messenger Chats

In a fresh bid to allow cross-messaging among its family of apps, Facebook has reportedly started merging Instagram and Messenger chats. First spotted by The...

Here’s How an Online Training Helped me Land my Dream Job

About the Author: Apurva Bhalerao is a postgraduate in Mechatronics. She joined Internshala Trainings for Internet of Things training. She shares how an online...

Internships for Students With Good People Skills

College students, especially the first and second year ones, often hesitate to apply to internships for the reason that they don’t have any job-specific...

73% Females in Rajasthan Facing Issues in Procuring Sanitary Napkins During Lockdown

Seven of every 10 adolescent females, nearly 73 per cent, in Rajasthan say they have had a problem procuring sanitary pads during lockdown in...

I Believe Dance is like Talking Without Speaking: Govinda

Actor Govinda sees dancing more like talking, sans words. "I believe that dance is more like talking without having to actually speak or use words....

Google Search to Provide you With Necessary Information About Floods in India

Google is already sending public alerts to people hit by flooding in India and users in India can now use Search to simply enter...

Yoga Improves Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Researchers

Researchers have suggested that yoga improves symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic nervousness and worry, suggesting the popular practice may be...

Young Women More Stressed Than Men During Lockdown: Survey

A recent survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people between 10 and 24 years in UP, Bihar and Rajasthan has revealed...

Recent Comments