NASA, processed the information transmitted by the Mini-SAR radar on board the Indian probe "Chandrayaan-1", reported the discovery of more than 40 craters contain ice in the north pole of the moon.
Red marked "young" craters on the Moon's north pole, green — the "anomalous" (NASA illustration).
Reported small craters scientists: their diameters ranging from 2 to 15 km. The amount of ice is difficult to assess because of its layer thickness varies from crater to crater, the authors give an approximate value of 600 million tons.
Mini-SAR refers to the class of synthetic aperture radars. To create images using the radiation from the left circularly polarized light. In the reflection of radiation from the surface of the moon is usually polarization is changed to right circular, but in some parts of the received radiation to the stored type of polarization increases.
Such a signal could give the "young" crater on the outer slopes and the inner surface of which are pieces of rock. At the north pole of the moon to the researchers, however, have found such craters is that the signal has a normal appearance, but the reflection from the bottom of their radiation demonstrates unusual polarization characteristics. Hence researchers concluded that the anomaly associated with the uneven surface, caused by the presence of fairly pure ice layer which has a thickness of less than two meters. The bottom of the many craters at the poles of the satellite is not illuminated by the Sun, and the ice can remain there indefinitely.
New data confirm recent reports of registration of water molecules Spectrometer Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which was also installed on board the "Chandrayaan-1", and the unit LCROSS.
Text: Dmitry Safin