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Ice has formed on the moon relatively recently, according to scientists.
Experts had thought all ice on the moon's shady south pole dated back billions of years but they have noticed signs some may be fresher.
Small - Craters - Edges - Contain - Ice
Small, recent craters which can be spotted by their sharper, more defined edges, contain ice which must be younger than the rest of the ice, they said.
It is thought to have come from meteorite impacts or, potentially, from volcanic activity beneath the lunar surface.
Scientists - Avenues - Exploration - Moon - Fuel
And scientists say it opens new avenues for exploration on the moon and could possibly supply fuel for future landings.
With impact marks in the ice from micrometeorites and other debris over a long period on the lunar surface, scientists predicted the ice, inside the Moon's craters, formed at some point after those craters' were created around 3.1 billion years ago.
Scientists - Ice
But now scientists have spotted what appears to be fresher ice.
Ice also exists in smaller craters, suggesting that some of the deposits on the south pole formed there relatively recently.
Ariel - Deutsch - Graduate - Student - Brown
Ariel Deutsch, a graduate student in Brown University's Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences who wrote the study said: 'That was a surprise, there hadn't really been any observations of ice in younger cold traps before.'
Ms Deutsch said that dating the deposits is important for future lunar explorers who might make use of that ice for fuel and other purposes.
Ages - Deposits - Something - Origin - Ice
She added: 'The ages of these deposits can potentially tell us something about the origin of the ice, which helps us understand the sources and distribution of water in the inner solar system.
'For exploration purposes, we need to understand the lateral and vertical distributions of these deposits to figure out how best to access them.
Distributions - Time - Idea - Age
'These distributions evolve with time, so having an idea of the age is important.'
For the study, Deutsch...
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