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Lunar Ice by Aiyla S.

What is lunar ice? Two to five lunar eclipses happen every year. However, while a lunar eclipse---whether it is a penumbral, total, or partial eclipse---may appear to be an impossibly mesmerizing sight, it simply occurs when Earth passes between the moon and the sun, which temporarily prevents the sun’s sweltering light from reaching the moon. This is an intriguing occurrence that many people enjoy watching, but it’s not the only one. So what other discoveries regarding the moon are there to unveil?

There is no water on the moon. It is a dry natural satellite. These facts are true . . . right? This question turned into many lunar scientists’ experiment, an investigation that went on for decades. At first, scientists weren’t sure whether or not the moon held any water. Even after impact craters on the moon left lunar ice there, the sun’s intense, raging heat immediately melted nearly all of the lunar ice that was ever able to survive there, leaving many scientists wondering if any water still remained on the moon. Since the water that was formerly on the moon had only supposedly all evaporated before, scientists decided to test it out and divulge the covert truth–––was there really still lunar ice on the moon? Scientists sincerely hoped so. If the moon had truly obtained water, it would come in handy for future experiments.

Some of the scientists who were involved in the experiment to discover if the moon contained any water explained that if any lunar ice did in fact remain idly on the moon, it would only be in cold, dark craters where the Sun’s scalding heat was absent because then the water, or lunar ice, would not be able to melt, dry up or evaporate. The moon’s most frigid vicinities are where the sun’s heat doesn’t powerfully hit. The moon occasionally even casts shadows that never fade, leaving some of its vast craters permanently chilled and devoid of light.

After sending multiple types of spacecraft into space to search for water vapor and lunar ice in a cloud of dust on the moon, scientists and astronomers, some on the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), were able to elucidate that there is indeed water on the moon. They have confirmed and proved this by crashing numerous spaceships onto the surface of the moon and inspecting dust clouds packed with detritus and water. The scientists succeeded in discovering water, just as their plausible conjectures had suggested, all the while suspecting that there was more lunar ice on the moon than they had already managed to find. According to the scientists on that team, there was enough lunar ice that they had located to fill a dozen two-gallon pails.

Despite the abundant portion of water already found on the moon over a decade ago, LCROSS scientists suspected that even more lunar ice lies on the moon, not yet found.

But the discovery of lunar ice in 2009 hasn’t ended yet. On Monday, October 26, 2020, even more water was found on the moon by NASA scientists using a telescope. However, this time, the water was discovered in a place on the moon where the sun’s light does reach, and it was approximately enough to fill a twelve-ounce bottle of water.

So what else is waiting on the moon?

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