A NASA instrument aboard the moon-orbiting Indian satellite Chandrayaan-1 has provided the first glimpses inside shadowy lunar craters. The instrument, known as Mini-SAR, used radar soundings to map the floors of polar craters that are continually hidden from view.

These dark, cold pockets are possible havens for water ice, which Mini-SAR will try to spot from its orbiting perch 60 miles (100 kilometers) above the lunar surface. The radar will also map both of the moon's polar regions during the two-year Chandrayaan-1 mission.

At left, Mini-SAR data (diagonal strip) details the bottom of Haworth crater, near the moon's south pole.

Photo credit: ISRO/NASA/JHUAPL/LPI/Cornell University/Smithsonian