Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Moon's not as dry as we think!

Kenny Chang in the The New York Times :


There is water on the Moon, scientists stated unequivocally on Friday.

“Indeed yes, we found water,” Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, said in a news conference. “And we didn’t find just a little bit. We found a significant amount.”

The confirmation of scientists’ suspicions is welcome news to explorers who might set up home on the lunar surface and to scientists who hope that the water, in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years, holds a record of the solar system’s history.

The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), crashed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The 5,600-miles-per-hour impact carved out a hole 60 to 100 feet wide and kicked up at least 26 gallons of water.

“We got more than just a whiff,” Peter H. Schultz, a professor of geological sciences at Brown University and a co-investigator of the mission, said in a telephone interview. “We practically tasted it with the impact.”

For more than a decade, planetary scientists have seen tantalizing hints of water ice at the bottom of these cold craters where the sun never shines. The Lcross mission, intended to look for water, was made up of two pieces — an empty rocket stage to slam into the floor of Cabeus, a crater 60 miles wide and 2 miles deep, and a small spacecraft to measure what was kicked up.

More here

1 comment:

  1. Yes.. I read about this somewhere. My physics teacher even told us about this! This could be the start of something new on the moon, but it evidently lacks something that humans need for survival, at the moment: An atmosphere. But of course, this is a great discovery in itself, as it increase the probability on life outside of Earth. Then again, its amusing that we humans can only vividly imagine what we want to happen- life outside of earth. =( haha

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