Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Moon experts find signs of water

Earth (ISRO)
The team's findings will be used by astronauts exploring the moon

A team of scientists at Durham University have said that water may exist on the moon.

Lunar ice could be hidden in polar craters, untouched by the sun's rays.

Their findings mean that the moon could provide water for astronauts who want to build a manned base there, allowing further exploration.

Dr Vincent Eke, who is leading the investigation, said there could be 200,000 million litres of water in the moon's cavities.

Moon rock

The group analysed data from a space probe that was sent to the moon by the US space agency, Nasa, in 1998.

They found high concentrations of hydrogen on polar craters, where temperatures are colder than minus 170C.

The hydrogen could have combined with oxygen present in moon rock to make water.

Dr Eke did warn that there could be no water ice on the moon at all.

Instead, hydrogen could take the form of protons being fired from the sun into the dusty lunar surface.

The data they collected will be used to assist missions by Nasa astronauts, who will target specific areas in the search for lunar ice.

Print Sponsor

Indian Moon probe pictures Earth
03 Nov 08 |  Science & Environment
Indian Moon probe set to launch
21 Oct 08 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific