By Lashay Breedlove
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Additional info for A Comprehensive Book on Lunar Science
In November 2009, NASA reported that its LCROSS space probe had detected a significant amount of hydroxyl group in the material thrown up from a south polar crater by an impactor; this may be attributed to water-bearing materials – what appears to be "near pure crystalline water-ice". In March 2010 NASA reported Mini-SAR radar aboard the Chandrayaan-1 detected what appear to be ice deposits at the lunar north pole, at least 600 million tonnes in sheets of relatively pure ice at least a couple meters thick.
During the night of April 19, 1787, the famous British astronomer Sir William Herschel noticed three red glowing spots on the dark part of the moon. He informed King George III and other astronomers of his observations. Herschel attributed the phenomena to erupting volcanoes and perceived the luminosity of the brightest of the three as greater than the brightness of a comet that had been discovered on April 10. His observations were made while an aurora borealis (northern lights) rippled above Padua, Italy.
The maria The major products of volcanic processes on the Moon are evident to the Earth-bound observer in the form of the lunar maria. These are large flows of basaltic lava that correspond to low-albedo surfaces covering nearly a third of the near side. Only a few percent of the farside has been affected by mare volcanism. Even before the Apollo missions confirmed it, most scientists believed that the maria were lava-filled plains, since they possessed lava flow patterns and collapses attributed to lava tubes.