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Ancient volcanos may hold pockets of lunar ice, researchers say

APTOPIX Turkey Full Moon
Posted at 2:09 PM, May 27, 2022

Researchers say that astronauts visiting the moon could drink water thanks to an unlikely source: Ancient volcanoes.

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder published its findings this month that suggests volcanoes may have left sheets of ice that dot the moon’s poles and, in some places, could measure dozens or even hundreds of feet thick.

“We envision it as a frost on the moon that built up over time,” said Andrew Wilcoski, lead author of the new study and a graduate student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the university.

The researchers said they discovered that ancient moon volcanoes spewed huge amounts of water vapor, which then settled onto the surface—forming stores of ice that may still be hiding in lunar craters. They added that if any humans had been alive at the time, they may even have seen a sliver of that frost near the border between day and night on the moon's surface.

The researchers said that in order to access the ice, it would require some drilling as lunar dust has likely covered it.