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Juramike
This probably deserves it's own thread. Seems the evidence is not specific to only one mission...

space.com article: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0909...-discovery.html
belleraphon1
From the AP

"Three different space probes found the chemical signature of water all over the moon's surface, surprising the scientists who at first doubted the unexpected measurement until it was confirmed independently and repeatedly."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...mQs6OgD9AT9B4O1

Craig
ElkGroveDan
I'd say the timing is now ripe for another announced discovery of water on Mars. rolleyes.gif
elakdawalla
There are two more papers, one by Sunshine et al from Deep Impact, and very short one by Roger Clark from Cassini. All find the same 3-micron feature indicating the presence of H20 or OH, but not surprisingly all have slightly different takes on the significance (though I should note Clark is the 3rd author on the Pieters paper).

--Emily
Astro0
Dan, We've had the "water on Mars" line so many times now, I think it deserves its own icon. smile.gif Click to view attachment

EDIT: Please note that I decided to pull the link to the Water on the Moon story.
centsworth_II
QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Sep 23 2009, 09:56 PM) *
I'd say the timing is now ripe for another announced discovery of water on Mars.
I would compare water discoveries on Mars to oil discoveries on Earth. We know there is water on Mars, but that doesn't mean that new discoveries, whether in location or extent, are not big news.
nprev
laugh.gif ...killer, Astro0!

Suspect that this will all prove to be of minerological rather than practical interest after the dust settles; it really ain't a lot of water. The possiblity of endogenous origin via solar wind interaction with the soil is fascinating, though.
ElkGroveDan
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Sep 23 2009, 09:18 PM) *
I would compare water discoveries on Mars to oil discoveries on Earth. We know there is water on Mars, but that doesn't mean that new discoveries, whether in location or extent, are not big news.


Yes, but the oil companies don't send out press releases with every discovery that breathlessly announce: "The long suspected existence of oil on Earth has finally been confirmed."
centsworth_II
QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Sep 24 2009, 01:09 AM) *
...press releases with every discovery...

I think a mistake commonly made here is to concentrate on sensational headlines that are not part of the press release rather than the release itself which usually puts the story in perspective.
Doc
According to SpaceRef.com, NASA hadn't yet released Cassini data from the flyby of 1999 until now it seems. Has anyone noticed this?
This reminds me of the Phoenix conundrum of last year.
djellison
I can only find ISS data from Cassini for the earth flyby - nothing from any other instrument (using http://starbrite.jpl.nasa.gov/ ) so working on the assumption that this is VIMS or CIRS data -then yup - it's not been in the PDS.

I'm finding it hard to get excited about this. We're talking about something two to three times, possibly 30 times drier, than dry concrete - and even then - if I'm not misreading stuff, just in the top few mm of the regolith is this 'damp' (BBC's choice of word there)

So you might get a few tens of tons of water out of ploughing through an entire square km of surface. I'm struggling to imagine that as being useful for, err, anything.

It may well be that this surface smattering of H+O is all there is to the water on the moon story (given the none too positive results from radar mapping of the moons poles) - so I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a very dry LCROSS event.
remcook
It must be VIMS data.
I could be very wrong, but from the few articles on this I've seen this means that the dark craters get more water input than thought, so there could be a lot more there (??). The press conference will address some of these things I'm sure. I find it hard to judge what they exactly saw where.
elakdawalla
It is VIMS data, and it is in the PDS. One problem is that the Clark paper seems to have given the wrong date for the data he shows -- he said August 19, it was August 18. Do a search here: http://pds-imaging.jpl.nasa.gov/search/search.html for VIMS data on August 18, 1999 and toward the bottom of the results page you'll see the lunar stuff. An example browse image is attached. It's fairly low resolution. I'm looking for anyone who can turn this stuff into a pretty natural color view.
Phil Stooke
I'm giving up on predicting anything - well, except the stock market.

Phil
Doc
Might be safe to say that this discovery could be used to explain the wierd distribution of the hydrogen detected by LRO.
elakdawalla
Hey, Gordan pointed out to me that he already played with that data:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...ost&p=68698



Thanks Gordan!
Zvezdichko
http://www.isro.org/news/scripts/Sep24_2009.aspx

ISRO was the first agency to officially announce the finding
ugordan
I revisited the IR channels from the same 4 source cubes the above natural color stack is comprised of, here's a quick-n-dirty (hopefully) calibrated false color image showing 3.86 (apparently an absorption band), 2.98 and 2.00 microns as red, green and blue respectively. The version on the right was balanced to make each wavelength similarly bright. Magnified 8x.

Click to view attachment
volcanopele
Interesting finding. A similar absorption band at 3.15 microns was found on Io by NIMS both at a low background level, and in small concentrations. At the time, it was suggested that water (or hydrated minerals) arrived on Io either through cometary impacts or from Io volcanic activity, but now I wonder if charged particles in Jupiter's magnetic field could do something similar on Io to what these particles in the solar wind are apparently doing on the Moon (maybe with cometary impacts to explain the local concentrations).

http://gishbar.blogspot.com/2009/09/water-on-dry-worlds.html
djellison
QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 24 2009, 04:14 PM) *
http://www.isro.org/news/scripts/Sep24_2009.aspx

ISRO was the first agency to officially announce the finding


And thus officially, still breach the embargo which doesn't expire for another 15 minutes.
rolleyes.gif

centsworth_II
QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 24 2009, 07:35 AM) *
...you might get a few tens of tons of water out of ploughing through an entire square km of surface. I'm struggling to imagine that as being useful for, err, anything.
I guess it depends on whether sucking the water from a square km of lunar surface or shipping it there from Earth is more cost effective.
elakdawalla
QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 24 2009, 09:47 AM) *
And thus officially, still breach the embargo which doesn't expire for another 15 minutes.
rolleyes.gif

No, Science lifted the embargo. However it is pretty bad form for them to issue their release before the briefing was to start.
Zvezdichko
Scientist: The Moon is very dry. If we have to extract all the water from Apollo's rocks, we will fill this spoon. The general idea is that the Moon is bone dry, but there may be water in shadowed regions.

Three papers will be published today. Three major instruments - M3, Visual and IR mapping spectrometer- Cassini, the third - Hi-res imaging spectrometer aboard Deep Impact (EPOXI).

These instruments made possible the water on the Moon to be mapped as it was never mapped before.

...

Widespread water was detected on the surface of the Moon.

Now we see a map of the distribution of OH and H2O on the Moon

EDIT

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/featur...on20090924.html

Presented on NASA's website
Zvezdichko


A crater and one of the charts which shows water presence

EDIT: We see just the preliminary results from M3. The data is continued to be analyzed.

EDIT2: Water and OH- exist on all latitudes of the Moon.



Now a comparison between VIMS and M3

EDIT 3: All graphics and images were uploaded on NASA's website. No more uploading here.

EDIT 4: Even dry deserts on the Moon have more water than the Lunar (polar) craters

Now switching to phone calls
djellison
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Sep 24 2009, 06:58 PM) *
No, Science lifted the embargo.


Ahhh - ok. I guess they didn't have much choice really.
Zvezdichko
Looks like they did it after the information leaked in the press.

biggrin.gif

Well, this is an amazing discovery. A spoon of lunar water versus pools of martian water smile.gif Despite this, it's exciting!

Congrats all!
Greg Hullender
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Sep 24 2009, 09:49 AM) *
I guess it depends on whether sucking the water from a square km of lunar surface or shipping it there from Earth is more cost effective.

Given it only has to process the top cm of regolith, I figure an unmanned harvester with a 1m-wide scoop could process 3.4 square km per month if it moved at 5km/hr. If we take the estimate of 1L water per cubic meter of regolith, that'd be 34 metric tons of water per month or about 400 tons per year. If the point is to fuel rockets, that'd be about enough for a Falcon-1-sized launch per month. That's not too shabby.

Note also that if the source of water really is the solar wind, then this resource is renewable. I think that's pretty exciting.

--Greg (Please tell me I haven't misplaced a decimal point) :-)
djellison
QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 24 2009, 07:51 PM) *
pools of martian water


About as appropriate a word as the BBC saying "Damp" for the new moon discovery. ph34r.gif
Phil Stooke
One litre per cubic metre... that sounds way too much, but it's pretty hard to get a handle on amounts here. 5 km/hour - can we extract the water molecules as fast as we can drive? That might be the limiting factor.

I'm not trying to sound too negative here, but I'm not convinced we could use the water that is being described at low latitudes. But concentrate it in cold traps, and I could see that being useful.

Phil
djellison
Like Greg - I'll say up front, I hope I've not screwed up any decimal places here.....

1kg of water per m^3 of soil.

They said figures like 1mm, 2mm, a few mm. I'll go with 2mm.

Thus - 1000 x 1000 x .002 m (i.e. farming 1 sq km) - is 2,000 kg of water.

Looking at something like the Mars Direct ISRO numbers - taking 8T of H2 and working with in-situ CO2 to make methane and O2. - 8T of H2 as water would be a further 64T of O2 - for a total of 72T of equivalent water, as it were.

That's 36 sqkm of farming, or, from a landing site - every scrap of surface regolith to a radius of 3.4km


Alternatively - taken an MSL sized rover - with some sort of soil harvesting combine harvester style rig on front - shall we say 3 x 1m wide grabbers ( like a big gang-lawn mower).

It would have to travel a total of 12,000km of 3m wide stripes to cover 36 sqkm. Quite by chance - that's about 1000km further than a circumnavigation of the whole moon.

At a brisk rover of, say 2.5m/sec (just over 5mph) - operating a 50% duty cycle for the day/night cycle - 110 days. But of course, you can't have a rover that just end up dragging a 70 ton sack - it'll have to get it bit, return it to be stored, go get some more, return it. Say you farm a 6km square, and can get one 3m x 6,000m stripe in one 'store'. It would be an average drive out of 3km, an average drive back from the end of 6.7km. Plus farming of 6km. 2000 times - 31,400km. Basically - a year of driving.

Harvesting at that higher figure, though, of 2.5m/sec - perhaps taking the top cm of soil (can't imagine how you'd take the top 2mm) - and a regolith density of 2.9g/cm^3 - that, amazingly, is 4.5 CuM or 13 tons of regolith per minute, producing (as only 1/5th of our 1cm harvest is 1% water) basically, 1 litre per minute.

I have no idea what sort of energy will be involved in getting that water out. Latent heat of vaporization is 2257 kJ/kg - 37 kWatts of energy required. (330x the RTG power of MSL, or a solar array about 9x9m at 30% effic)

As a comparison - to get 72,000kg of water up at Phoenix's landing site - taking, say, 30cm trough, at 500kg / m^3, at 3m wide, is only 160km of trough - 75x less than the lunar combine harvester.

QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Sep 24 2009, 08:43 PM) *
I'm not convinced we could use the water that is being described at low latitudes.


Nor me. Interesting - but not a resource.

Cool though.

I want my solar powered MSL sized water farming soil munching robot smile.gif
nprev
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
Greg Hullender
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
Paolo
They are on Sciencexpress http://www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.dtl
djellison
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.
marsbug

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.
glennwsmith
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?
djellison
Sorry - I just don't seen enough to get excited about. I found the MRO tele-conf that followed far FAR more exciting.
Juramike
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.....
Phil Stooke
"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
belleraphon1
For those of us older than Apollo, this is indeed a major paradigm shift.

Craig smile.gif
Greg Hullender
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
Vultur
Does this data show anything about ice in the permanently-shadowed south pole craters, like the LCROSS target?
elakdawalla
No, almost by definition. All these data are from near-infrared spectrometers that rely upon sunlight to illuminate their targets.
Enceladus75
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?
belleraphon1

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



Reed
QUOTE (Enceladus75 @ Sep 25 2009, 05:13 PM) *
Will LRO be able to confirm the announcement?

It was suggested in the press conference that LROs LAMP may shed light (ahem) on the subject. If there's enough water, it seems like LEND may do so as well. Remember that one of the surprises of the early LEND data was finding hydrogen outside of the permanently shadowed craters.

I suspect there is also a rush to re-analyze more existing data. How many other spacecraft have taken calibration data from the moon ? Did Galileo ? Rosetta (which has another earth gravity assist coming up in November) ? It looks like KAGUYAs SP cuts out just short of the spectral feature that M3 detected, but maybe there's something else if you know what you are looking for. What about the Chang'e imaging spectrometer ? I'm sure there's a bunch of people digging through old Apollo papers now too, and thinking about new things to do with those samples.

The hype associating this with water as a resource may be overblown, but definitely cool science.
ngunn
QUOTE (belleraphon1 @ Sep 26 2009, 01:39 AM) *
Would seem that on many airless worlds something similar must happen if the solar wind is the hydrogen source.


That is the subject of a nice article by Jason Perry at Gish Bar Times:
http://gishbar.blogspot.com/2009/09/water-on-dry-worlds.html
Juramike
I wonder if MS analysis could help show where the water comes from?

If water is undergoing a diurnal cycle of desorption-vapor-redeposition then that process should favor the heavier H2(18O). Since the lighter molecule would have a better chance of escaping, so the 18O/16O ratio would be larger.

If water is continually being destroyed by sunlight and reformed from solar hydrogen combining with oxygen species from lunar rock, and assuming lunar rock doesn't have any isotopic oxygen enrichment, then you'd expect a very light isotopic mixture (H2(16O)) with a 18O/16O ratio similar to that found in lunar rock.
imipak
The solar wind aetiology is certainly interesting, but practical just doesn't come into it.

Apart from the basic arithmetic about theoretical water yield per square meter and energy required to extract it Doug provided, what would such a vehicle look like? Here's an approximate terrestrial analogue, running at a few km/h, taking the top inch or two of a surface and dumping it harvester-style into a following tender (note: no further processing happens at this stage.) These things mass in the order of 20-30 tons, and of course need regular teardown maintenance and rebuild (neglecting the tender and other supporting infrastructure.) What would a soft-landing of a self-repairing, self-powered, autonomous version of such a machine on the moon look like, as a back-of-a-fag-packet concept?

Mars, on the other hand,.. is another thread wink.gif
remcook
A question (can't access the articles right now, so not sure if it's in there): I can understand that these results only say something about the top few millimeter, but where does the statement come from that the OH/water is only there and not also deeper? Does that come from the way it disappears with higher temperature? Although if this is really produced by solar wind I can understand this would be the case, but do we really know?

edit - also, is it significant that the water in the VIMS image and M3 image is mostly confined to the bright regions (e.g. not in a mare) or is it just that the dark regions don't reflect enough light to be able to tell?
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