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NASA

Ice patches seen on Earth's moon
News story originally written on December 2, 1996

Radar images of the Moon's surface have suggested that water exists on the Moon. The images of the Moon's south pole region show a patch of ice about 16 feet thick.

One theory suggests that the ice came from a comet that hit the Moon's surface billions of years ago. Because the Moon has no atmosphere, comets do not burn up as they approach its surface. That means that the material of the comet can be added to the Moon easily. By finding water on the Moon's surface, scientists now think they could use the moon as a pit stop for distant space trips.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF