A team of researchers has published a new paper that focuses on some of the ice deposits which can be found near the south pole of the moon. The researchers believe that some of them may be more recent in comparison to others, a trait that makes them more interesting.
During the study, the scientists surveyed data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which has spent over a decade orbiting the object and gathering valuable data. An interesting detail is represented by the age of the craters in which many ice deposits were seen.
The paper mentions that observations related to the small craters which were found inside bigger ones played an important role in the task of estimating the age of the craters. By exploring the approximate number of asteroid and comet collisions, which took place over time, the researchers were able to determine the age of the deposits.
Data obtained by the team suggested that many of the ice deposits which can be found within large craters appeared almost 3.1 billion years ago. Frozen water observed in the case of smaller craters hints that the deposits encountered near the south pole are more recent.
The results were quite surprising for some researchers since there haven’t been any papers that tackled the age of ice found in young cold traps. It is also taught the ice which is located within the craters may have come from different sources. Older ice may have formed from water, which was carried by comets and other rocks that crashed into the moon, while volcanic activities may have contributed to the process.
At this point, it is important to note that there have been no significant impacts in recent times, and volcanic activity on the moon may have ended over a billion years ago. This means that the ice found in recent ice deposits may have formed from water brought by solar wind and micrometeorites.
The paper was published in a scientific journal.