The water of the moon is located around the South Pole, where deep-impact craters are wrapped in constant darkness. Until recently, astronomers believed that water was abandoned by aquifers and volcanic activity billions of years ago. Satellite data collected by NASA, however, revealed younger looking ice in smaller craters.
The surprising discovery suggests that there are unknown processes by which water makes its way to the moon.
The breakthrough was made by astronomers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
Graduate student Ariel Deutch, who led the study, stated: "It was a surprise.
Ms. Deutsch and her colleagues were researching photos snapped by NASA's Lunar Intelligence Orbiter, who had been photographing the moon since 2009.
READ MORE: NASA Cassini Satellite Captures 5 moons of Saturn
they used visual cues to date ancient impact craters at 3.1
Because the ice deposits contained in them cannot be older than the craters, the researchers had an approximate idea of the ice age.
Millions of years of small meteorite impacts have also made the deposits rougher and jagged.
But in a turn of events, researchers have found that smaller impact craters are home to sharper and better-defined ice deposits.
This ice looks much younger and Brown's team is yet to discover how it formed.
Access to a valuable resource, which is water, will help the Foot colonists of the ure find a firm footing on the surface of the moon.
Access to water can also help to reproduce resources as fuel.
Prof. Jim Head of Brown said: "When we think of sending people back to the moon for a long study, we need to know what resources we can rely on, and at the moment we do not know.
"Studies like this help us make predictions about where we need to go to answer these questions. "