Coalition of the Confused

Hosted by Jenifer (Zarknorph)

Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The Solar System   Science

Started 5/17/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 32139 views.
In reply toRe: msg 19
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


How do we know it's water ice?

To pin down the source of the hydrogen, Dr Li and his colleagues analysed data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which measures the wavelength of molecules reflecting off the surface.

"Ice is very unique on the lunar surface," Dr Li said.

"As it goes to longer wavelengths the reflections are lower. This is opposite to the lunar surface material."

Craig O'Neill, a planetary scientist at Macquarie University, said the data provided definitive evidence of water ice.

"I buy this evidence more or less on face value," said Dr O'Neill, who was not involved in the research.

"While most people had assumed what we were seeing was water on the moon, or certainly supporting evidence for water on the moon, this is really a smoking gun."

The data shows tiny patches of exposed ice water at the bottom of a small number of craters on both the north and south poles.

"The reason we see more on the south is the south pole has more cold spots than the north pole," Dr Li said.

Here in the darkest and coldest parts of the moon, temperatures can plummet to minus 238 degrees Celsius — the coldest in the solar system.

But this pattern is very different to ice deposits at the poles of Mercury and Ceres, both of which also experience freezing temperatures at the poles.

"On Mercury and Ceres it's a continuous, large area of ice, but on the moon it's just spots like salt and pepper," Dr Li said.

Why is the ice cover so patchy?

The moon formed as a hot, molten chunk of rock jettisoned from Earth following an impact with another large body around 4.5 billion years ago.

Unlike Mercury or Ceres, the moon's orbit only stabilised in the past 2-3 billion years, said Dr O'Neill.

"It would mean that the water we're seeing here wasn't delivered to the moon 4 billion years ago, really early in its history.

"It's probably been delivered over time by cometary impacts, and only been able to survive in those south pole craters since they've actually been in the shade."

The rate of cometary impacts also dropped significantly around the 2-3 billion-year mark.

But the meteorites that did continue to rain on the surface could have ploughed up the shaded areas throwing water vapour into the air.

Dr Li and his colleagues propose this process — known as impact gardening — may explain why the ice cover is patchy.

"A vapour plume could be either lost into space or can condense back to the surface," Dr Li explained.


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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


What does this mean for space exploration?

Once considered a dry, hostile place, confirmation that there is water ice on the moon's surface makes it a favourable place for space exploration, Dr O'Neill said.

"What that means for us from an engineering point of view, and a practical point of view we know now the moon definitely has these resources.

"We actually have water there, so we don't have to bring it with us, which cuts down launch costs immensely.

"It makes the moon a lot more feasible in terms of human colonisation or just using it as a mission base for the rest of the solar system as well."

Dr Li said their research provided a clear map of where to find water ice in the polar regions.

But for now, he said, we still have a large knowledge gap about these dark, freezing regions.

"We've been studying the moon since before the Apollo era ... but we've barely touched the polar parts of the moon," he said.

"In the future, I think it's worth sending a mission that focuses on the polar regions to look at those dark regions to see what's going on there."

The only mission to come close in the near future will be the Korean Pathfinder Orbiter.

Due to launch in 2020, it will be kitted out with a NASA-built camera known as ShadowCam.

The camera is designed to peer inside permanently shaded craters near the poles, but its cameras will not operate at wavelengths to detect water ice, Dr Li said.

Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)


Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is a mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASAemployee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights. During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. Her work included calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those of astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezevous paths for the Apollo lunar lander and command module on flights to the Moon.[2][3][4] Her calculations were also essential to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program,[2] and she worked on plans for 
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Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)


Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


I wonder if this is the morality cell...

Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)


Well than it is lacking a lot!

Science continues to get things backwards.

I like to use a book as a metaphor. The paper and ink represent the material world and the words on the page represent consciousness. No amount of ink and no kind of paper can take the place of the words.

The words are the essence of the book. The paper and ink are incidental. If they are destroyed, the book simply reappears in a different form -- a copy, or an e-book, for example. The book exists in the author's mind and heart long before it takes material form.

The material world cannot create consciousness. But consciousness, using perception and imagination, can create the material world.

The table in front of me is part of the material world -- is it not? For me, this table is material; it exists. It is hard, solid. But a physicist who examines it finds mainly empty space: Where I see a table, he sees atoms. Where does the table come from, then? It comes from consciousness, from imagination.
Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)


I have been to a rather wet party and just got home to read your post . It is an interesting concept but tonight I disqualify myself from answering in depth. See you tomorrow.

Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)