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HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 2003 > Article Detail

FEATURE ARTICLE

Ice at the Lunar Poles

That the Moon harbors ice at high latitudes is well known. The source of that water, however, may come as something of a surprise

Richard Vondrak, Dana Crider

Figure 9. Water moleculesClick to Enlarge Image

Since the 1960s planetary scientists have considered the possibility that the Moon may harbor deposits of water ice in permanently shaded regions near the lunar poles. In 1998, the Lunar Prospector mission largely confirmed the presence of water ice on the Moon. The authors explore how that ice came to be and suggest what information the study of lunar ice cores may one day provide to scientists interested in the ancient history of the Earth-Moon system.


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