Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Ice 'most likely' in Moon craters

Lunar surface
Researchers believe lunar craters shaded from the sun could have ice

Ice on the Moon is most likely to be found in shaded polar craters, UK scientists have concluded.

Researchers from Glasgow and Durham universities analysed data from Nasa's 1998 Lunar Prospector probe to pinpoint likely locations.

They found that polar craters, which are shaded from the Sun, could have ice in concentrations of up to 10 grams per kilo of rock.

Their findings are published in the scientific journal Icarus.

Lunar base

Dr Luis Teodoro, of Glasgow University's physics and astronomy department, said: "We used a newly developed technique to show that the hydrogen on the moon is concentrated into permanently shaded craters near to the lunar poles.

"Hydrogen, together with the oxygen that is abundant within Moon rock, is a key element in making water.

"Water ice should be stable for billions of years on the Moon provided that it receives no sunlight.

"If the hydrogen is present as water-ice then our results imply that the top metre of the Moon holds about 200 billion litres of water."

Scientists believe the presence of water on the Moon could pave the way for a future manned base there. It is life sustaining and a potential source of rocket fuel.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Moon experts find signs of water
18 Dec 08 |  Wear
Lunar base options divide experts
05 Apr 04 |  Science & Environment
Doubts resurface about lunar ice
12 Nov 03 |  Science & Environment
No ice detected after lunar smash
13 Oct 99 |  Science/Nature
What we can make of Moon water
05 Mar 98 |  Science/Nature

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


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

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 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