Bad Astronomy

Bi-static radar search for lunar water fails

Over at Universe Today, Nancy Atkinson is reporting that an experiment looking for water ice under the lunar surface has failed.

I wrote about this observation a little while ago: using radar, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Indian probe Chandrayaan-1 were going to sweep the crater Erlanger to look for a signal reflection indication the presence of ice. However, Chandrayaan-1 was already well on its way to its final malfunction, and the observations didn’t work. Go to UT for the details.

Bummer. But not all is lost: soon, the LCROSS mission will slam a massive weight into the Moon which will hopefully dislodge any of the ice that’s there, and maybe we’ll get our answer. Unless the Moon doesn’t want us too, of course.