View Full Version : Discussion: There Might Not Be Ice at the ...

2003-Nov-13, 08:36 PM
SUMMARY: At the South Pole of the Moon, there is a region that is always in the shadow of craters which scientists have long believed could have deposits of water ice. Despite the fact that ice was detected by two spacecraft that orbited the moon, a new survey of the area by the giant Arecibo radio observatory has failed to find any surface deposits of ice. This doesn't mean that the ice isn't there, but it might be trapped in a large area under the surface, like lunar permafrost. Arecibo is a good instrument for detecting ice because it gives a very specific echo signature in the radio spectrum.

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2003-Nov-14, 11:28 PM
There's a slight error in the PR which formed the basis of this report that compromises its key argument. Clementine & Lunar Prospector didn't discover water ice in the polar craters but hydrogen ions, which they interpreted as representing water ice - this interpretation may be incorreect; but the difference doesn't matter for lunar base purposes, because we already know we can get oxygen from the regolith & when hydrogen meets oxygen.... If Cornell had failed to find hydrogen, the Clementine & Lunar Prospector data would really be compromised.