Discovering the moon is a burning desire of human beings so the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA's youngest moon probe, helps provide us some amazing facts about the lunar system such as there are tons of water ice being found at the moon's north pole and elsewhere.
The discovery of water in ice and rocks across huge craters and vast lunar plains on the moon has been regarded as the biggest revelation from researchers within recent years. LRO and other spacecraft could find evidence of hidden water at the moon's north pole and elsewhere by watching its partners probe LCROSS crash into the lunar surface in October 2009.
Tons of water ice were found at the moon's north pole and elsewhere
The most detailed images of at least two lunar pits, also known as giant holes in the moon, have been collected by LRO. Scientists believe these holes form when the ceiling of a subterranean lava tube collapses, possibly due to a meteorite strike.
The Mare Ingenii pit, which is 426 feet (130 m) in diameter lies in an area with relatively few volcanic features
Based on the LRO's temperature instrument, Diviner, the moon’s Hermite Crater features the coldest temperature in the solar system with -415 degrees Fahrenheit (-248 Celsius). Extremely cold regions similar to the one in Hermite Crater were found at the bottoms of several permanently shaded craters at the lunar south pole.
While one side of the moon always face toward our planet, the side that faces away is referred as the “far side of the moon” instead of “dark side of the moon” because it receives as much as sunlight as the side that faces us.
The moon's topography from LRO's LOLA instruments with the highest elevations in red and the lowest areas in blue
The moon's axis tilts only slightly so many areas of high elevation at its poles remain almost constantly exposed to the sun. Scientists can map illumination in detail and find some areas with up to 96% solar visibility by using LRO's precise measurements of topography.
Such sites would have continuous sun for approximately 243 days a year and never suffer a period of total darkness for more than 24 hours
A Russian robotic rover Lunokhod 1, which disappeared from detection in Sep. 1971 after landing on the moon in 1970 and traveling about 6 miles (10 km), had been spotted miles from its supposed location by the LRO camera team. Therefore, a laser pulse was sent to Lunokhod 1 and contact was made with the rover for the first time in nearly four decades.
The rover Lunokhod 1
From a distance, rilles look like river channels on the lunar surface. Their formation remains a mystery and is believed to feature different formation mechanisms including ancient magma flows and the collapse of subterranean lava tubes.
A "sinuous" rille exhibits strong meanders