A crater on the moon which is the main target of exploration has the possibility of ice-rich. For the sake reveal it, the scientists investigated the Shackleton Crater, which lies very close to the lunar south pole.
The interior of the polar craters are located in almost perpetual darkness, so it has a chance to be an area that holds frozen water reserves. Now scientists have successfully mapped the Shackleton Crater in detail and found evidence of ice in the crater.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter illuminate the interior of the crater with an infrared laser beam and measuring reflection. It turned out that the crater floor is more reflective than other nearby crater. This shows any sign of ice.
“The possibility of the amount of ice water in it can be up to 20 percent,” said the expert gefisika Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Maria Zuber, as reported by Live Science, Saturday (06/23/2012).
But it is not yet certain. The reason, they found that the crater floor is relatively bright and the walls tend to be more reflective. The researchers think the reflection of light that occur in the crater was caused by the earthquake, rather than by ice.
Scientists have thought that the ice is so reflective that it should be there on the floor covered with darkness. For comparison, the wall of Shackleton Crater occasionally experience accumulated during the day so as to make the ice can evaporate.
“The reflection may be an indication of something other than water ice,” said Zuber. For example, perhaps reflective of the crater floor because it could have had the experience relatively little affected by exposure to the sun and cosmic radiation that could make it so dark.