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Radar surveys turn up little evidence of lunar ice
Posted: Thu, Oct 19, 2006, 8:52 PM ET (0052 GMT)
Lunar south pole seen by Arecibo (Cornell Univ.) High-resolution radar surveys of the south pole of the Moon have revealed little evidence of significant deposits of water ice there, raising questions about whether there is enough ice there to sustain any future human explorers there. Astronomers from the Smithsonian and Cornell University used radio telescopes at Arecibo and Green bank to transmit and receive radar signals off the Moon's south polar region, looking for polarization ratios indicative of water ice. While the study did find such ratios, those readers were found in both permanently-shadowed regions of craters, thought to harbor ice deposits, as well as sunlit regions where ice could not exist. The results suggest that if there is any water ice in the showed polar craters, it is scattered and not in large deposits that could be of use to future explorers.
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