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View Full Version : Water on Luna (+ LCROSS "Lunar collision" mission)



efkelley
09-25-2009, 02:09 PM
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090923-moon-water-discovery.html

Interesting, especially the part about water forming on the lunar surface because of the solar wind. I had thought the moon deep enough within Earth's magnetic field to make that difficult, but I suppose not.

TMA-1
09-27-2009, 12:34 AM
The Moon's magnetic field is incredibly weak, and I guess the Earth's magnetic field is weak that far away too.

Some say these findings of water makes the colonisation of the Moon (or at least a research base to start with) a more interesting possibility. I have always thought we should do it, and it seems there's not a lot of water there, and it seems to me it would be cheaper and easier to just launch a couple of cargo ships with water that the Lunar base then can recycle.

Kaiser-Kun
09-27-2009, 12:38 AM
Well duh. It's raining.

Izz
09-27-2009, 01:26 AM
I'm looking forward to results of the probe they'll be crashing into the south lunar pole on Oct 9, in the hope that the impact will kick up water ice.

BigWords
09-27-2009, 03:53 AM
A controlled, planned crash would also make a nice change from all the uncontrolled, unplanned crashes that probes have been making these last few years.

blacbird
09-27-2009, 07:32 AM
Interesting, especially the part about water forming on the lunar surface because of the solar wind. I had thought the moon deep enough within Earth's magnetic field to make that difficult, but I suppose not.

The moon orbits far beyond any significant influence of Earth's magnetic field.

caw

blacbird
09-27-2009, 07:35 AM
A controlled, planned crash would also make a nice change from all the uncontrolled, unplanned crashes that probes have been making these last few years.

The Mars Orbiter has taken a large number of intriguing photos of recent meteor impact craters that have exposed ice, subsequently seen to have vanished or reduced in area, obviously via exposure and sublimation. It makes these celestial bodies like the moon very interesting regards the preservation of water, as ice, under dusty cover.

caw

dgiharris
09-27-2009, 11:37 AM
A controlled, planned crash would also make a nice change from all the uncontrolled, unplanned crashes that probes have been making these last few years.

Just so you know, an uncontrolled, unplanned crash is not a trivial thing. It takes billions of dollars, and millions of man hours, and the best minds in the business working together day in and day out to come up with a system that becomes a flaming ball of wreckage that skitters across Mars like a Nascar racer bouncing across the tarmac...

Anyways, as for water on the Moon.

I thought there was a concensus that there was ice on the moon deep in the craters.

didn't know the concensus was that it was bone dry. apparently, I didn't get the memo.

Mel...

efkelley
09-28-2009, 03:55 PM
The moon orbits far beyond any significant influence of Earth's magnetic field.

caw

An admittedly brief search of the Intertronic Highway has revealed no corroborating data on this statement. Might I trouble you for some citations?

blacbird
09-28-2009, 11:11 PM
An admittedly brief search of the Intertronic Highway has revealed no corroborating data on this statement. Might I trouble you for some citations?

You might. So I googled "earth magnetic field moon distance", and got sent first to Wikipedia, where the following information was given:

The sunward edge of the earth's magnetosphere, where the solar wind first encounters it, lies at a distance of about 45,000 miles from earth. The moon orbits at a distance of around 240,000 miles, thereby being exposed to solar radiation with no significant protection from the earth's magnetic field, and having no significant magnetic field of its own.

caw

efkelley
09-29-2009, 01:34 AM
You might. So I googled "earth magnetic field moon distance", and got sent first to Wikipedia, where the following information was given:

The sunward edge of the earth's magnetosphere, where the solar wind first encounters it, lies at a distance of about 45,000 miles from earth. The moon orbits at a distance of around 240,000 miles, thereby being exposed to solar radiation with no significant protection from the earth's magnetic field, and having no significant magnetic field of its own.

caw

My 'brief search' should be amended to 'ridiculously brief search'. Thanks for the data. :)

Lhun
09-30-2009, 04:50 AM
I have always thought we should do it, and it seems there's not a lot of water there, and it seems to me it would be cheaper and easier to just launch a couple of cargo ships with water that the Lunar base then can recycle.Recycling water is cheap. The real savings are in not needing to get water up there in the first place, because water is heavy, and lifting things from earth to moon is incredibly expensive.

blacbird
09-30-2009, 10:56 AM
Recycling water is cheap. The real savings are in not needing to get water up there in the first place, because water is heavy, and lifting things from earth to moon is incredibly expensive.

Echo this, for emphasis. We are never going to get into the transport of massive amounts of heavy bulky industrial materials into space. The energy requirements for doing so are simply prohibitive. Finding an extraterrestrial supply of water (one of the two or three most common compounds in the universe) is a major goal.

caw

dpaterso
10-10-2009, 03:38 AM
Nasa team scours Moon crash data
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8299118.stm

Results are still pending but the NASA team seems pleased that they have new data to work with.

-Derek