Water has been discovered on the Moon with remote sensing methods. Read the press release Diviner results indicate presence of widespread ice on the Moon on the "Diviner" infrared instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft that is orbiting the Moon.

Independently, H2O was also found in the spectrum of a dust cloud created by that LCROSS probe fragment when it crashed into the Moon, and had the main LCROSS probe follow it, which analyzed the impact.

To my understanding, this was very solid evidence that there is some water in the high-latitude areas on the Moon.

What else is known about the polar ice on the Moon?

Have there been identified any ice deposits that are more distinct?

Say forming tiny ice caps on central peaks on certain craters on the moon, or at crater walls.

Or are there ice deposits covered under a well-insulating layer of "soil" and rubble (regolith), and dispersed in this regolith (kind of permafrost)? Or is it just crystal-water bound in minerals?

I can dig for science papers myself, but maybe someone has done this already and can recommend some good articles or new findings (e.g. fresh from the AGU 2011 conference).


One of the reasons you will not find water ice on mountain peaks on the moon is that it will sublimate in a vacuum. The only way you could get ice is if the temperature remains cold enough - so a location which never gets sunlight is required, which only leaves deep polar craters as possibles.

So the search for water aims at either the bottom of craters or under the surface itself. Not in soil, as there would be none on the moon, but in what that article describes as permafrost.


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