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There's Ice on the Moon

NASA's recent LCROSS mission left a 30-meter wide crater on the moon. It also led to an astounding discover: frozen water on the moon. Read more Photos courtesy NASA.

LCROSS Probe Impact

An artist's illustration of NASA's LCROSS mission: to crash two probes into the moon and kick up moon dirt. The moon crash was a resounding success

Northrop Grumman

LCROSS Probe Impact

The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after NASA's LCROSS satellite made its impact on the moon on October 9. 

NASA

LCROSS Probe Impact

The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after NASA's LCROSS satellite made its impact on the moon on October 9. 

NASA

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Up Close

Images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter helped confirm the presence of water on the moon. The Orbiter prior to liftoff was fitted with a wealth of instrumentation designed to search for surface ice and frost and provide images of permanently shadowed regions on the lunar terrain. 

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Prelaunch

An Atlas V rocket sits on the launch pad, ready for take-off. It began the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's mission to the moon.

The Moon's Temperature, at Day and Night

Daytime and nighttime temperature observations of the lunar south pole recorded by the LRO's Diviner Radiometer Experiment. Prior to the impact, NASA used these figures to conclude "that the temperatures in these super-cold regions are definitely low enough to cold-trap water ice, as well as other more volatile compounds for extended periods."

The Lunar South Pole

The lunar south pole, where NASA found ice to exist in the dark, frozen depths of craters within craters. NASA records the darkest, coldest spots as reaching -397 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boulders on the Rim of Tsiolkovskiy's Crater

Boulders ring Tsiolkovskiy Crater—the largest over 130 feet wide, or half as big as a soccer field. The dark area in the lower right is the tip of the enormous shadow cast by the central peak.

Moon Altitude Measurements

Altitude measurements of the south pole from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Permanently shadowed areas are coldest, and confirmed to hold ice; permanently illuminated areas may be good spots for solar power stations.

Erlanger Crater

Erlanger crater is one of several targeted for further study by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. 

There's Ice on the Moon

NASA's recent LCROSS mission left a 30-meter wide crater on the moon. It also led to an astounding discover: frozen water on the moon. Read more Photos courtesy NASA.

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