Space researchers have officially confirmed, “cold traps” that contain carbon dioxide on the moon after decades of research. According to a paper published last month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the discovery is integral to potential long-term robots or human presence there. The moon has permanently shadowed regions on the poles that are cold enough to let carbon dioxide freeze and remain solid.
The news release explained that the discovery has a “major influence in shaping future lunar missions,” Future robots and human explorers may be able to use the frozen carbon dioxide to make fuel or materials that will extend lunar missions. It also helps scientists better understand the origins of organic elements on the moon.
The cold traps were only theorized by scientists and researchers over the years, but now we have actual proof. To identify them, researchers looked over 11 years of data from the “Divine Lunar Radiometer Experiment,” a device aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
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