JUST IN – Ice Confirmed on Moon’s Poles

Ice Confirmed at the Moon’s Poles

In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface. These ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient. At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole’s ice is more widely, but sparsely spread.

A team of scientists, led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii and Brown University and including Richard Elphic from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.

M3, aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization, was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon. It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we’d expect from ice, but was able to directly measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapor and solid ice.

Most of the newfound water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the very small tilt of the Moon’s rotation axis, sunlight never reaches these regions.

Previous observations indirectly found possible signs of surface ice at the lunar south pole, but these could have been explained by other phenomena, such as unusually reflective lunar soil.

With enough ice sitting at the surface — within the top few millimeters — water would possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon, and potentially easier to access than the water detected beneath the Moon’s surface.

Learning more about this ice, how it got there, and how it interacts with the larger lunar environment will be a key mission focus for NASA and commercial partners, as we endeavor to return to and explore our closest neighbor, the Moon.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 20, 2018.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, designed and built the moon mineralogy mapper instrument and was home to its project manager.

Credit: NASA JPL

Thank you from Astro Skye

That’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone at Kennedy Space Center who has made my stay this summer absolutely incredible! I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer! **(scroll down for individualized messages)**

(And if those of you could pass this on to the communicators, techs, and anyone else mentioned I would greatly appreciate it!)

Darlene Jenora & Andrea, thank you for allowing me to come each week, feeding me, and welcoming Thomas to the family. Your generosity and kindness are overwhelming and I thank you for allowing me to come back!

To the techs and the communicators (Ken), thank you for letting me crash your party and thank you for being so welcoming! It was awesome seeing all of you and hearing stories I can only dream of! You all are seriously the best! Thank you for allowing me to take selfies with you too! 😁

Kyle, thanks for escorting me to the right building 😝

Ken in the Space shop, you’re awesome dude! ✌🏼

Tory Bruno of ULA, thank you for answering my question about the GEM60 and retweeting my tweets on Twitter!

To everyone at KSCVC who worked with me, from all the lovely ladies I met in charge of socia media, thanks for tagging me each and every week, to everyone in charge of ATX, thank you for letting me get an inside scoop!

Admin security, thanks for being so awesome with the check in process and recovering my lost items if need be.

Therrin, I didn’t get to see you at all this summer, but as always thanks for running such an awesome place. It is always a pleasure stopping by and giving presentations!

Steve thank you for helping me on the CCP side!

Torie as always, amazing to see you. Thank you for surprising me and coming by! Let’s not wait two years to do this again!

And lastly but not least, thank you Thomas for assisting me throughout this journey whether it be making sure I eat, backing up my questions, or even telling me what day it is, I very much so appreciate it

#GoPSP

If you aren’t tagged and/or if I don’t have you on Facebook I’m thinking about you anyway!

See you next time!

Astro Skye at Kennedy Space Center

Astro Skye is back and presenting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center! Check out the dates and times below!

Astro Skye Presentation
July 20 & 27
August 03 & 10
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 
Journey to Mars Building

Presentation Breakdown:
10:00  – Mission Mars: A Look at SLS, Orion, and the Journey
12:00 – Launch America: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
13:00 – Mission Mars: A Look at SLS, Orion, and the Journey
14:00 – Launch America: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
16:00 – Mission Mars: A Look at SLS, Orion, and the Journey

Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry for not posting in a while, I have been battling an illness for the past five weeks and am getting back up on my feet surely but slowly. I am also finishing out my spring semester at Stetson so I will be busy with that for the next couple weeks.

Once that is over, I will be revamping and working some things out for the summer. I am excited to show you all what is to come!

Have a great one and stay tuned!

Skye

Image of the Day 03/12/18

The crew aboard the International Space Station have grown two batches of mixed greens (mizuna, red romaine lettuce and tokyo bekana cabbage), and are now running two Veggie facilities simultaneously.

Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. But future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food, so understanding how plants respond to microgravity is an important step toward that goal. The Veg-03 experiment uses the Veggie plant growth facility to cultivate a type of cabbage, lettuce and mizuna which are harvested on-orbit with samples returned to Earth for testing.

Image & Caption Credit: NASA

Watch LIVE – Falcon Heavy Payload

Good evening –

Watch LIVE the Falcon Heavy payload of the Tesla Roadster and Starman. #DontPanic

Congratulations to the SpaceX Team on a successful launch and landing of the two booster – word back is that the main core stage failed to land on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You.” Still a successful launch and (partial) landing.

For more information visit spacex.com

https://www.pscp.tv/SpaceX/1DXxyXggQenJM?t=3h53m24s

Until next time

~ Skye