Walls Of Lunar Crater May Hold Patchy Ice, LRO Radar Finds


NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been studying the moon since June 2009. Credit: NASA

Small patches of ice could make up at most five to ten percent of material in walls of Shackleton crater.

Scientists using the Mini-RF radar on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have estimated the maximum amount of ice likely to be found inside a permanently shadowed lunar crater located near the moon’s South Pole. As much as five to ten percent of material, by weight, could be patchy ice, according to the team of researchers led by Bradley Thomson at Boston University’s Center for Remote Sensing, in Mass.

“These terrific results from the Mini-RF team contribute to the evolving story of water on the moon,” says LRO’s deputy project scientist, John Keller of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Several of the instruments on LRO have made unique contributions to this story, but only the radar penetrates beneath the surface to look for signatures of blocky ice deposits.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/shackleton-ice.html

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