Scientists confirm water ice on the Moon's surface

The Moon photographed by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

The Moon photographed by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

  |  NASA / Reuters

NASA scientists have confirmed the existence of ice on the Moon's surface, a discovery that could make water available to future astronauts, after the discovery of underground water reserves.

Published in the scientific journal PNAS, this is just one of several studies focusing on the presence of water on the Moon.

Ice can be found near the north and south poles of the Moon, in craters that are never exposed to sunlight and where temperatures never exceed 150º C.

"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," NASA has announced.

Researchers obtained that evidence thanks to an instrument sent in 2008 aboard an Indian spacecraft that directly measured the way ice molecules absorb infrared light. "This is the first time scientists have directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface," lead author Shuai Li of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology told AFP.