It has been confirmed that there is water ice on the surface of the moon. Water molecules had been discovered at the soil from the moon, but this is the first time that a water ice was discovered on the moon.
A team of researchers led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii came to the conclusion while re-analyzing the data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3). The M3 was aboard the "Chandrayaan-1" spacecraft, which was India’s first lunar probe operated between 2008 and 2009. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday.
The research team focused on the shadowed region at the moon’s poles. There are hundreds and thousands of permanently-shadowed craters near the poles. The temperature of the craters is lower than minus 163 degrees Celsius.
The researchers analyzed the near infrared signal from the shadow and found the same absorptive and reflective properties that can be expected from ice from a tiny fraction (3.5 percent) of the shadowed craters. This is a proof that there is water ice at the surface of the moon. It was estimated that water ice is mixed with soil on the moon’s surface at the ratio of 3 to 7.