19 October 2009

The Moon Is Determined to Make Its Own Water

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Sure, the moon could orbit passively, waiting for a stray comet or water-laden asteroid to come along and deliver a load of ice. But Luna wanted to be proactive, she wanted to make her own water. And so she does.
The Moon is a big sponge that absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. These particles interact with the oxygen present in some dust grains on the lunar surface, producing water. This discovery, made by the ESA-ISRO instrument SARA onboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, confirms how water is likely being created on the lunar surface. _SD
This "Made On Luna" H2O is necessarily near the surface. Water that crash landed on celestial objects would more likely be deeper, and near the poles -- sheltered from the sunlight.

It will take time to quantify the amount of water that is available for human use on Luna. An ample, self-renewing supply of water would make a permanent moonbase much more viable.

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Blogger qraal said...

As handy as renewable solar wind water is some lines of evidence - like the hydrated glass found by "Apollo" and the Russian 2 metre depth sample - indicates significant water in the Lunar mantle.

Friday, 23 October, 2009  

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