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LRO orbiting in the space, NASA, VOA
  • Bright colored areas were found on the surface of the moon towards its south pole.
  • Scientists used the data from NASA’s LRO.

June 04, 2017: Bright areas were seen in the south pole surface of the moon which is cool enough to indicate the presence of frost. The coldest places in the moon are also the brightest. It was confirmed by matching data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

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The analysis of the scientists combined surface temperatures of the moon with the amount of light that is reflected off the moon’s surface. The study was published in the journal called ‘Icarus’ and is authored by Elizabeth Fisher.

The frost appears to be icy and thin, mixed with the soil and the dust. There are, however, no signs of icy ponds or skating rinks.

Moon’s south pole has various cold traps. These traps are dark areas. They are deep on the floor of the crater and receive almost no direct sunlight. The temperature here remains below 260 degrees Fahrenheit. Water ice can persist for millions of years under these conditions.

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Previously in the 1990s, the LRO identified hydrogen rich areas near the moon’s poles but could not verify for certain if the hydrogen was in the water or some other form. But now this has been confirmed.

The findings of Fisher and her team are consistent with another study from 2015. The analysis from both the studies matches quite fittingly. Combined, the studies hold strong hypothesis that there is frost on the moon’s surface (near the south pole). The similar signs on the north pole could not be found.

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Now, the inquisitiveness is about the age of the ice found. If the water came from an outer source, it is as old as the solar system. However, it is much more recent if this water is a result of gradual chemical reactions and interplay.

The source of this water on the moon has strong implications for the origin of water on Earth.

By Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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