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Water on the Moon, Data from multiple missions seems to indicate...
nprev
post Sep 24 2009, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 24 2009, 01:39 PM) *
I want my solar powered MSL sized water farming soil munching robot smile.gif


...known as "Thirsty" for short... rolleyes.gif


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Greg Hullender
post Sep 25 2009, 01:45 AM
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Are you sure the water is limited to the top 2 mm or simply that the measurements from space are unable to see below that? I still can't find the original three papers on the AAAS website (even though I'm a member). Perhaps they'll appear tomorrow.

--Greg
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Paolo
post Sep 25 2009, 06:17 AM
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They are on Sciencexpress http://www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.dtl
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djellison
post Sep 25 2009, 06:46 AM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Sep 25 2009, 02:45 AM) *
Are you sure the water is limited to the top 2 mm


They did explicitly mention figures like that, several times. If it is basically solar 'rain' so to speak, then I can well imagine it being little more than atomic icing. There, clearly, lots more study to be done.
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marsbug
post Sep 25 2009, 12:01 PM
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The universe today article mentions that ejecta from young craters were 'rich' in water and hydroxyl, which might mean that some of it migrates to the subsurface and sticks around. Plus it seems hard to have ultra cold traps at the poles, a continuos (but yes very tenuos) supply of water and hydroxyl, and not have significant amounts of ice to accumulate in the subsurface of said cold traps over geological time (micrometeorite impacts might drive off surface ice faster than it can accumulate). It seems logical that there will be areas with only an atomic icing and areas with relatively large amounts at a certain depth.

The moon does not seem as dead as once thought today, and coupled with the news of very pure ice on mars it's been a good week for finding ice in the inner solar system.


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glennwsmith
post Sep 25 2009, 01:34 PM
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Say what you will about the quantities involved, words cannot describe the revolutionary potential -- both from a practical and theoretical standpoint -- of the possibility that the solar wind is synthesizing water on the surface of bare rock!!!!!

I mean, this has been one of the wildest fantasies of mankind, starting with Moses. And yes, yes, I know this is not water gushing from a rock -- but still, guys, it IS water from rock!

Stu, doesn't TS Eilot have a line about this?

And I'm with Centsworth II -- think about the cost of hauling it up there. And we haven't even begun to think about ways of exploiting even trace amounts of water. What about big pivoting harvesters such as are used on earth for the reverse process, irrigation? Especially if the water is being constantly created?!?

C'mon guys, get a life!!!! Water from sunshine!!!!!! Has that ever occurred to any of us, even in our wildest dreams?
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djellison
post Sep 25 2009, 01:50 PM
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Sorry - I just don't seen enough to get excited about. I found the MRO tele-conf that followed far FAR more exciting.
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Juramike
post Sep 25 2009, 01:59 PM
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Both are very cool. But I think the lunar discovery is a major paradigm shift.

Mars always had water, and the Moon seems to be getting it even now.

Now that the Moon has water molecules, and water molecule transport, that means the moon has a water cycle. Who'd a thunk?

Lunar weather.

Whoa.....


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Phil Stooke
post Sep 25 2009, 01:59 PM
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"Stu, doesn't TS Eliot have a line about this?"

T. S. Eliot is an anagram of toilets, so he should know all about water.

(paraphrasing Alan Plater here...)

Phil


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belleraphon1
post Sep 25 2009, 03:38 PM
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For those of us older than Apollo, this is indeed a major paradigm shift.

Craig smile.gif
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Greg Hullender
post Sep 25 2009, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (glennwsmith @ Sep 25 2009, 06:34 AM) *
Stu, doesn't TS Eilot have a line about this?

I'm not Stu, :-) but if you look at "The Wasteland," section V, titled "What the Thunder Said" it has these lines:

QUOTE
Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain


One could have a lot of fun with this -- imagining the dry sterile thunder to be rocket exhaust and so forth.

Here's a link to the whole thing, if anyone's too lazy to google it:

http://www.eliteskills.com/analysis_poetry...ot_analysis.php

--Greg
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Vultur
post Sep 25 2009, 04:45 PM
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Does this data show anything about ice in the permanently-shadowed south pole craters, like the LCROSS target?
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elakdawalla
post Sep 25 2009, 04:58 PM
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No, almost by definition. All these data are from near-infrared spectrometers that rely upon sunlight to illuminate their targets.


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Guest_Enceladus75_*
post Sep 26 2009, 12:13 AM
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Guests






This is indeed a pretty astounding discovery that has the potential to change everything. Especially coming after the last few years when there was mounting scepticism of any water being present on the Moon.

Planetary science discoveries in ways seem to be like the water on the Moon story - first seen as impossible, then with further discovery, possible, and then probable if not certain. With even closer scrutiny, scepticism creeps in and the original theories are called into question but then a new breakthrough takes place and the earlier theories are either vindicated or a completely new, unknown of discovery crops up - sometimes in a dramatic way. This is how science works! smile.gif

And despite its operational life cut short, it's a fantastic achievement from Chandryaan 1.

Will LRO be able to confirm the announcement? Does anyone think the imminent impact of LCROSS will reveal water in its impact cloud?
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belleraphon1
post Sep 26 2009, 12:39 AM
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What a beautiful result.

Was there not a mention from the first MESSENGER Mercury flyby about H2O in the exopshere? Would seem that on many airless worlds something similar must happen if the solar wind is the hydrogen source.

From dawn to dusk, electric fingers of light weave magic from molecules. The Cosmos is subtle.

Boy do I love this.

Craig



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