Published 09:24 IST, May 2nd 2024

ISRO Study Reveals Evidence of Water Ice in Polar Craters of Moon

A research study by scientists from ISRO's SAC has revealed the enhanced possibility of water ice occurrence in the polar craters of the Moon.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
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ISRO study points to evidence of water ice in polar craters of Moon | Image: NASA/Representative

New Delhi: A research study by scientists from ISRO's Space Applications Centre (SAC) has revealed the enhanced possibility of water ice occurrence in the polar craters of the Moon. 

The SAC carried out the study in collaboration with researchers at IIT Kanpur, University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and IIT (ISM) Dhanbad.


Published in the journal International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, the study uncovered that the amount of subsurface ice in the first couple of metres is about five to eight times larger than the one at the surface in both poles. 

The study will highly influence the future lunar missions and has significant implications for long-term humar presence on the Moon.


"Moreover, the study also suggests that the extent of water ice in the northern polar region is twice that in the southern polar region," the ISRO said.

This picture, taken by Chandrayaan-1’s Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) on November 15, 2008, shows many large and small craters on the polar region of the Moon.

Regarding the origin of the ice, teh research confirmed that the primary soource of subsurface water ice in the lunar poles is outgassing during volcanism in the Imbrian period. 


The study further highlighted that water ice distribution on lunar poles is steered through "Mare volcanism" and preferential impact cratering.

Seven instruments were used for the study including radar, laser, optical, neutron spectrometer, ultra-violet spectrometer, and thermal radiometer onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to understand the origin and distribution of water ice on the Moon.


"Accurate knowledge of the distribution and depth of water ice occurrence in the lunar poles, as presented in the investigations, is crucial for constraining the uncertainties in selecting future landing and sampling sites for missions aimed at exploring and characterizing lunar volatiles," the statement added.

08:55 IST, May 2nd 2024