1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    Lostangeles4's Avatar
    June 2007
    724 Posts
    Space.com posted:
    Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called "unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

    The new findings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, come in the wake of further evidence of lunar polar water ice by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and just weeks before the planned lunar impact of NASA's LCROSS satellite, which will hit one of the permanently shadowed craters at the moon's south pole in hope of churning up evidence of water ice deposits in the debris field.

    The moon remains drier than any desert on Earth, but the water is said to exist on the moon in very small quantities. Finding water on the moon would be a boon to possible future lunar bases, acting as a potential source of drinking water and fuel.

    Three Spacecraft:

    Chandrayaan-1, India's first-ever moon probe, was aimed at mapping the lunar surface and determining its mineral composition (the orbiter's mission ended 14 months prematurely in August after an abrupt malfunction). While the probe was still active, its NASA-built Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) detected wavelengths of light reflected off the surface that indicated the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen the telltale sign of either water or hydroxyl.

    Because M3 can only penetrate the top few millimeters of lunar regolith, the newly observed water seems to be at or near the lunar surface. M3's observations also showed that the water signal got stronger toward the polar regions.

    Cassini, which passed by the moon in 1999 on its way to Saturn, provides confirmation of this signal with its own slightly stronger detection of the water/hydroxyl signal. The water would have to be absorbed or trapped in the glass and minerals at the lunar surface, wrote Roger Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey in the study detailing Cassini's findings.

    The Cassini data shows a global distribution of the water signal, though it also appears stronger near the poles (and low in the lunar maria).

    Finally, the Deep Impact spacecraft, as part of its extended EPOXI mission and at the request of the M3 team, made infrared detections of water and hydroxyl as part of a calibration exercise during several close approaches of the Earth-Moon system en route to its planned flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2 in November 2010.

    Deep Impact detected the signal at all latitudes above 10 degrees N, though once again, the poles showed the strongest signals. With its multiple passes, Deep Impact was able to observe the same regions at different times of the lunar day. At noon, when the sun's rays were strongest, the water feature was lowest, while in the morning, the feature was stronger.

    "The Deep Impact observations of the Moon not only unequivocally confirm the presence of [water/hydroxyl] on the lunar surface, but also reveal that the entire lunar surface is hydrated during at least some portion of the lunar day," the authors wrote in their study.

    The findings of all three spacecraft "provide unambiguous evidence for the presence of hydroxyl or water," said Paul Lacey of the University of Hawaii in an opinion essay accompanying the three studies. Lacey was not involved in any of the missions.

    The new data "prompt a critical reexamination of the notion that the moon is dry. It is not," Lacey wrote.

    Where the water comes from

    Combined, the findings show that not only is the moon hydrated, the process that makes it so is a dynamic one that is driven by the daily changes in solar radiation hitting any given spot on the surface.

    The sun might also have something to do with how the water got there.

    There are potentially two types of water on the moon: that brought from outside sources, such as water-bearing comets striking the surface, or that that originates on the moon.

    This second, endogenic, source is thought to possibly come from the interaction of the solar wind with moon rocks and soils.

    The rocks and regolith that make up the lunar surface are about 45 percent oxygen (combined with other elements as mostly silicate minerals). The solar wind the constant stream of charged particles emitted by the sun are mostly protons, or positively charged hydrogen atoms.

    If the charged hydrogens, which are traveling at one-third the speed of light, hit the lunar surface with enough force, they break apart oxygen bonds in soil materials, Taylor, the M3 team member suspects. Where free oxygen and hydrogen exist, there is a high chance that trace amounts of water will form.

    The various study researchers also suggest that the daily dehydration and rehydration of the trace water across the surface could lead to the migration of hydroxyl and hydrogen towards the poles where it can accumulate in the cold traps of the permanently shadowed regions.
    The Entire Story

    Pretty cool.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    June 2009
    4,710 Posts
    Neato.

    I wonder what this means for the future of our space colonizing.
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  3. Post #3
    ramblingoxen's Avatar
    June 2009
    1,469 Posts
    ok im dumb can someone explain whats so cool about this :(
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  4. Post #4
    Umi-hebi's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,036 Posts
    lunar colonies won't work
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    pointyface's Avatar
    September 2007
    541 Posts
    lunar colonies won't work
    Not a colony, an outpost for future exploration
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Mr. Someguy's Avatar
    March 2006
    24,136 Posts
    Did we find water on Mars yet?

    Edited:

    Why is water on mars dumb?
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    Kyle v2's Avatar
    August 2005
    7,792 Posts
    Not a colony, an outpost for future exploration
    The Nazis already beat us to it though...
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Slippers's Avatar
    November 2005
    359 Posts
    Water on moon was faked just like the moon landing. It's just the urine from the international space station.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    cardboard_panda's Avatar
    June 2009
    1,385 Posts
    I am astonished
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Daolpu's Avatar
    March 2007
    2,157 Posts
    Then they find oil and we wage war on the moon and take it's resources.
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  11. Post #11
    DuraFlex's Avatar
    August 2008
    2,281 Posts
    Holy shit :D, I can't wait too see if there really is any life forms anywhere
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  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    skyms2663's Avatar
    September 2006
    301 Posts
    That is exciting news!

    This will give them a reason to setup a base and whatnot on the moon, considering now they won't need to return to Earth for water.
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    darkedone02's Avatar
    February 2006
    2,619 Posts
    colonizing the moon is useless, we should colonize mars.... minus the red faction.
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    ASmellyOgre's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,495 Posts
    It only makes sense. The moon is orbiting the Earth, and would thus experience the same processes that gave the Earth water if we are correct about most of the water coming from asteroids in the early history of Earth. I always figured that the Moon just didn't have enough gravity to contain it in an atmosphere/didn't attract as many asteroids/whatever.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    hypno-toad's Avatar
    October 2006
    14,695 Posts
    It only makes sense. The moon is orbiting the Earth, and would thus experience the same processes that gave the Earth water if we are correct about most of the water coming from asteroids in the early history of Earth. I always figured that the Moon just didn't have enough gravity to contain it in an atmosphere/didn't attract as many asteroids/whatever.
    More than enough asteroids make it onto the moon. I believe the lack of an atmosphere is the reason for that.

    http://www.space4schools.co.uk/pages/lunar/moon.jpg
    I'm fairly sure all those craters are from asteroids.

    Also, the moon has enough gravity. If a person can sorta walk along the surface, then water should stay on the surface, too. It's not just going to float away.
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  16. Post #16
    DuraFlex's Avatar
    August 2008
    2,281 Posts
    I wouldn't want to live on the moon, the dark side will freeze you to death, the multiple asteroid beatings, no atmosphere yada yada yada
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  17. Post #17
    goatse
    Craptasket's Avatar
    January 2006
    32,598 Posts
    Water can be used and can be break down to hydrogen and oxygen for fuel.


    Dur
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  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    ASmellyOgre's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,495 Posts
    More than enough asteroids make it onto the moon. I believe the lack of an atmosphere is the reason for that.

    http://www.space4schools.co.uk/pages/lunar/moon.jpg
    I'm fairly sure all those craters are from asteroids.

    Also, the moon has enough gravity. If a person can sorta walk along the surface, then water should stay on the surface, too. It's not just going to float away.
    The lack of atmosphere and lower gravity are linked. The moon could certainly keep a liquid on it, but not a vapor. I'm assuming that it goes like this:

    asteroid strikes moon, deposits water > water evaporates during the day if not trapped in a rock >Moon is too small and has too weak of a magnetic field to keep an atmosphere

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    massn7's Avatar
    October 2005
    1,645 Posts
    Then they find oil and we wage war on the moon and take it's resources.
    I'm not gonna lie, that sounds a bit awesome
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  20. Post #20
    hang you're self
    G71tc4's Avatar
    March 2008
    4,733 Posts
    I don't see the big deal. It's not like the aliens are gonna realize we found their traces of water and pop out of the moon, revealing themselves. Whatever may have been there is gone. Get over it.
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  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    wuzzimu's Avatar
    June 2006
    1,364 Posts
    Wasn't there a plan a few months back to send a rather large explosive to the moon to look for water?

  22. Post #22
    ken18's Avatar
    April 2008
    390 Posts
    The moon belongs to the US cause we were there first.
    :smug:
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  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    FunnyBunny's Avatar
    December 2006
    4,795 Posts
    It's not like we have to live on the moon's surface...
    We can live inside giant domes that sustain ecosystems / life.
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    jalit's Avatar
    March 2005
    372 Posts
    The moon belongs to the US cause we were there first.
    :smug:
    Actually I believe the Russians had the first unmanned object hit the moon.
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  25. Post #25
    wow ok
    Teh Zip File's Avatar
    December 2007
    16,426 Posts
    Then they find oil and we wage war on the moon and take it's resources.
    No, we will harvest the moon for its cheese.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    ASmellyOgre's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,495 Posts
    It's not like we have to live on the moon's surface...
    We can live inside giant domes that sustain ecosystems / life.
    Even better, we could live in gigantic underground cities that have a few facilities on the surface for spaceships/sightseeing.

  27. Post #27
    Dennab
    May 2007
    1,532 Posts
    Actually I believe the Russians had the first unmanned object hit the moon.
    yep
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  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    hypno-toad's Avatar
    October 2006
    14,695 Posts
    The lack of atmosphere and lower gravity are linked. The moon could certainly keep a liquid on it, but not a vapor. I'm assuming that it goes like this:

    asteroid strikes moon, deposits water > water evaporates during the day if not trapped in a rock >Moon is too small and has too weak of a magnetic field to keep an atmosphere
    And that's why there's water there?

    Also, it may just be water underground.
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  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Rodwy's Avatar
    July 2007
    267 Posts
    Did we find water on Mars yet?

    Edited:

    Why is water on mars dumb?
    Yes, in the form of ice.

  30. Post #30
    NotMeh works out at home.
    Perfumly's Avatar
    June 2009
    12,139 Posts
    Expected badage boys
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  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    Viva's Avatar
    July 2006
    14,076 Posts
    Actually I believe the Russians had the first unmanned object hit the moon.
    but had the first MAN, human being, on the moon.


    Dibs.

    Edited:

    OKAY
    First things first guys.
    We need to get a Golden Arch up there ASAP.
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  32. Post #32
    Ryu-Gi's Avatar
    August 2008
    5,610 Posts
    but had the first MAN, human being, on the moon.


    Dibs.

    Edited:

    OKAY
    First things first guys.
    We need to get a Golden Arch up there ASAP.
    And a starbucks.

  33. Post #33
    Gold Member
    Rammaster's Avatar
    August 2008
    5,466 Posts
    I shall harvest the water and make:

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  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Used Car Salesman's Avatar
    April 2009
    8,992 Posts
    Low qualities in sunlight and higher quantities just after lunar morning really suggest an accumulation at the South Pole. LCROSS is hugely important, this could make lunar colonization more viable than ever.

  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    Kendra's Avatar
    November 2008
    7,209 Posts
    There's water everywhere basically.
    On Mars there enough (frozen) water to fill the entire of Mars with 11m of liquid water.
    Lots of satellites have vapor or frozen water.
    Besides, there's the hipothesis that the Moon is a big part of Earth, who got collisioned into by another planet.
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  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    Loompa Lord's Avatar
    November 2006
    629 Posts
    Then they find oil and we wage war on the moon and take it's resources.
    Yes, if only there was fossil fuel on the moon.
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  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,822 Posts
    I shall harvest the water and make:

    Deer park AQUAPOO
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  38. Post #38
    Gold Member

    July 2007
    5,385 Posts
    I found the black hole article more interesting.
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  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    markg06's Avatar
    September 2006
    10,982 Posts
    Then they find oil and we wage war on the moon and take it's resources.


    I call dibs on the Grizzly.
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  40. Post #40
    MAspiderface's Avatar
    July 2009
    9,925 Posts
    I shall harvest the water and make:

    Poop made out of water
    Awesome :razz:
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