Lunar and Planetary Institute

Investigating Permanently Shadowed Regions on the Moon

June 14, 2019

Shackleton crater

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

LPI staff scientist and researcher Dr. Julie Stopar is a co-investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team, who recently released a new set of images that show the extreme light and darkness at the Moon’s south pole. Near the south pole, the high and low elevations vary greatly in light and shadow, with the higher elevations receiving extended periods of light, while some of the lower elevations remain in darkness all year, earning the name Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSR). These regions are valuable scientifically; PSRs can accumulate water-ice and volatiles, which hold clues to the origin of inner solar system water. Water-ice found in PSRs also has the potential to be useful to future explorers as a source of air, water, or fuel. Thanks to the imagery and data gathered by the LROC about the PSRs, we will be prepared to go back to the Moon. For the full story, visit:
Permanently Shadowed Regions on the Moon.

For more about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, visit:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera



Back to top