U.S. Scientists Report Discovery of Ice Crystals on Moon (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Scientists announced that the preliminary findings from the Lunar Prospector mission indicated the presence of water ice in shadowed craters near the Moon’s poles. They estimated that six billion metric tons of water ice might be buried beneath the lunar dust and could benefit future lunar colonization.
Water on the Moon
One of the more important discoveries made from the study of the lunar materials brought back by the Apollo astronauts was the apparent lack of water. There was no direct evidence, past or present, for the presence of water in any form on the Moon. Most geologists believed that water would at least be found in certain hydrated minerals, but this was not the case. On Earth, all rocks contain water in one form or another. The fact that scientists cannot reach a consensus on the absence of water has provided support for the giant impact theory for the origin of the Moon. The apparent absence of water on the Moon also creates significant problems for future lunar colonization.
An alternative theory to finding molecular water on the Moon suggested searching for water ice. This was first discussed as early as 1961 and later reconsidered after studying the data from the 1994 Clementine mission. It was theorized that cold traps could exist inside craters if certain conditions were met. First, water vapor from either volcanic eruptions or cometary impacts had to collect in craters...
(The entire section is 1047 words.)
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