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LRO Press Release and Press Conference
P Hayne
post Sep 18 2009, 01:06 AM
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Here is a video of the press conference today (9/17/2009):
http://www.youtube.com/profile?v=59aaOW33a...=NASAtelevision

And here is a link to the press release:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/sep/H...irst_Light.html

A link to the fascinating results for the south polar region from the instrument I work on, Diviner:
http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/blog/?p=123

Within the permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, Diviner has recorded the what could be the coldest natural temperatures in the Solar System. Further mapping by LRO, along with the results from LCROSS, may reveal important volatiles like water and possibly organic molecules are trapped in these frigid confines.

PH
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marsbug
post Sep 18 2009, 01:01 PM
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Many thanks! If I could bombard you with questions for a minute... biggrin.gif
Which zones of temperature are expected to cold trap which volatiles? For example the press release mentions that the 35K temperature of the permanantly shadowed regions is more than cold enough to trap H2O, so what other things might be trapped?

I have read somwhere that the regolith temperature at 1 meter depth beneath the poles, even where the surface recieves sunlight, is expected to be around 40K. Does this have a bearing on the quantities of volatiles expected to be trapped by the permanantly shadowed regions- ie might subsurface cold trapping get most of the migrating volatiles before they reach the permanantly shadowed polar craters?



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Phil Stooke
post Sep 19 2009, 02:00 AM
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Just in case you're getting tired of all that boring LROC stuff, here is a different view of the poles:

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/new-n...ide-102070.aspx

Phil


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MCS
post Sep 19 2009, 02:09 AM
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The Diviner images are very interesting. I noticed that on channel 8 you can see details of the shadowed areas of the polar craters. I wonder if anyone has seen any features that are suggestive of ice deposits? I'm tempted to say that some of those south pole craters look a bit icy, but it could be just wishful thinking on my part.
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John Moore
post Sep 19 2009, 12:25 PM
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Simply wonderful views from the thermal science -- nice to see areas that were deep in shadow now in 'light'.

Just a query: I understand these are early times in terms of image-processing with the Diviner results, however, do some of the craters and regions therein appear overly deep? If so, why, if not, doh...eyes need adjusting cool.gif

John
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remcook
post Sep 19 2009, 06:28 PM
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It's amazing how much they look like normal images! Temperature must correlate pretty well with sun angle. The fact that the crater look deeper probably means that the temperature with solar angle is a steeper function than reflected light with solar angle (or something like that). And spatial resolution is great.
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John Moore
post Sep 20 2009, 01:11 PM
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QUOTE (remcook @ Sep 19 2009, 07:28 PM) *
It's amazing how much they look like normal images! Temperature must correlate pretty well with sun angle. The fact that the crater look deeper probably means that the temperature with solar angle is a steeper function than reflected light with solar angle (or something like that). And spatial resolution is great.


Ah ha, that might explain it...many thanks.

John
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MCS
post Sep 22 2009, 12:08 AM
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Shoemaker crater is one crater that looks possibly icy to me. I know (now) that Lunar Prospector was crashed into that crater in hopes of detecting water, without success. I think Shoemaker is still promising, though. Faustini is also interesting. The crater on the rim of Nobile nearest Shoemaker is another. I'll add Idel'son L (the areas in the direction of Amundsen) and the crater just below Faustini in Figure 6 on the Diviner blog page for Sept. 17. That's around longitude 100. Shackleton at the south pole is interesting too.

The north looks less interesting than the south, but I think Rozhdestvenskiy U at about 85, 150, and the crater just north of it at about 86, 150 are interesting.

NASA Watch is saying there will be a press conference Thursday Sept. 24 that will discuss Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper results which look like they'll shed some light on this issue.
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John Moore
post Sep 22 2009, 12:16 PM
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Might check out this interesting Nature article (online free).

John
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MCS
post Sep 22 2009, 11:21 PM
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I overlooked the LEND graphic. If I'm interpreting it correctly, out of the craters on my list, Idel'son L looks doubtful for ice. Faustini looks really promising. The crater near it at around 100 is probably a good prospect too. There's some hope for Shoemaker and Shackleton. The crater on the edge of Nobile looks good, and Nobile itself looks good.

Craters not in my list that now look interesting include Amundsen, Haworth, De Gerlache, Cabeus, and Cabeus A. Although, I noticed that in the Nature article the LRO radar instrument didn't find any strong ice-like signal from Cabeus A, which might lead to a target change.

I'm going to add Erlanger and Fibiger to my list in the north. On August 20, Erlanger was supposed to be a target of a bistatic experiment using Mini-RF on LRO and Mini-SAR on Chandrayaan-1. It's fortunate that Chandrayaan-1 didn't fail until after that. I haven't seen anything about the results of that experiment.

I don't see any LEND image for the north pole, unfortunately.

There are a lot of interesting areas. I'll have to wait for more information before speculating any further.
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Stu
post Sep 23 2009, 01:55 PM
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QUOTE (MCS @ Sep 22 2009, 01:08 AM) *
NASA Watch is saying there will be a press conference Thursday Sept. 24 that will discuss Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper results which look like they'll shed some light on this issue.


Ok, I'll break the embargo...

Chandrayaan detected traces of a strange liquid - a soup of some kind, made of blue string - and LRO took this oblique view photo last week...

http://twitpic.com/ithh4/full

smile.gif


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Phil Stooke
post Sep 23 2009, 04:25 PM
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Now I see why it's called TWIT - pic.

Phil


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Stu
post Sep 23 2009, 04:33 PM
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Not a "Clangers" fan then. rolleyes.gif


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Juramike
post Sep 24 2009, 12:18 AM
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Space.com article: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0909...-discovery.html

Dumb question, but could the oxygen have come from sputtering off Earth's atmosphere and then hooked up with protons from the solar wind on the lunar surface?


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MCS
post Sep 24 2009, 01:45 AM
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Thanks for the link, Juramike. I didn't see anything in the space.com article that had anyone saying there was definitive evidence of ice deposits on the moon, unfortunately. I hope something more definitive is revealed in tomorrow's press conference.

The Earth's atmosphere does lose oxygen to space. A Universe Today Article from 2008 talks about it. It seems possible that some of that oxygen could make its way to the moon. I would think that the contribution of Earth oxygen would be pretty small, though. Lunar regolith would probably be a bigger oxygen source than Earth oxygen. Solar wind protons combining with oxygen knocked out of regolith minerals seems to be a likely explanation for a lot of the non-polar detections mentioned in the article.

I think the case for a lunar polar lander and even a sample return mission is growing stronger.
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