Ice-less Moon


  • Elaine Friebele


In 1996, data from the spacecraft Clementine supported the possibility of ice at the South Pole of the Moon. But detailed radar images of the Moon's north and south poles, taken at the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico, show no evidence of ice. The 1992 observations, published in the June 6 issue of Science, indicate small areas in the polar regions whose radar reflections could be interpreted as ice. However, similar features also occur in sunlit areas and near the Moon's equator. Researchers speculate that very rough surfaces associated with steep slopes of impact craters have these peculiar radar reflection properties.