SWIR images show evidence of water on Moon

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NASA scientists are using images from shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras as part of preliminary data used to determine the presence of water on the Moon. During the mission on 9 October 2009, a NASA rocket was launched into a crater near the Moon's south pole; images from the SWIR cameras from Sensors Unlimited, part of Goodrich ISR Systems, showed evidence of water in the post-crash debris plume.

The lunar crash was part of NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission to search for water on the Moon. Two Goodrich SWIR cameras were part of the payload onboard the spacecraft, along with the Centaur rocket impacted with the Moon. Images of the vapour and debris plume created by the rocket's impact were recorded by the SWIR cameras, and were analysed to determine the presence of water.

Because the SWIR cameras detect moisture contrast through dust, smoke and fog, they were able to accurately record the LCROSS crash incident for precise study of the debris cloud.

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