and hydrogen-rich,' even outside it's lingering shadows -
just as pluckly Lunar Prospector 'seemed to show'
ten years ago.
From Andrew Gaddis, LROC News System at Arizona State, "on September 15, LRO successfully executed its Mission Orbit Insertion (MOI) propulsive maneuver which established the nominal mission orbit. This means the LRO cameras are now in a 50km polar mapping orbit of the Moon, which will result in higher resolution images."
Preliminary estimates from LRO's Diviner Radiometer, measuring thermal emmissions, show the Moon's Pemanently Darkened Regions (PDRs) as "perhaps the coldest regions in the Solar System" and "well able to support" trapped volatiles like hydrogen.
In additon, LRO Russian-built LEND neutron spectrometer, after only 60 days of operation, has already confirmed the hydrogen signatures found at the 30 kilometer wide, 1 meter deep resolution demonstrated by the Lunar Prospector survey in 1999.
The most sensitive of LRO's experiments, the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), an "extrodinarily sensitive UV detector, sensitive to frost," was the last experiment switched on as LRO neared it's mapping orbit within the past week. During passes over Faustini and Cabeus A LAMP detected "a distinct darkening" on the crater floors, "possibly due either to a surface texture effect" or the frost the experiment was designed to detect on the Moon's surface.