Mission News

Rays of Water and Hydroxyl
09.24.09
 
Rays of water and hydroxyl identified in a lunar crater

These images show a lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, as viewed by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. On the left is an image showing infrared brightness. On the right, the abundance of water (light blue) and hydroxyl (red) is shown around a small crater. Hydroxyl-rich materials are seen as two rays emanating from the crater at the one and seven o'clock positions. Water-rich materials encircle the crater. Ray patterns such as those containing the hydroxyl usually indicate that materials have been excavated from below the surface. If so, it is possible that there are deposits of water- and hydroxyl-rich materials just below the surface of the moon.

Credits: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Brown Univ.

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