I wonder if there is a strong magnetic field there... maybe worth a dig. ;-)
Water molecules have been detected in soil in one of the Moon's largest sunlit craters, NASA announced on Monday, which means permanent bases on the natural satellite may be potentially a lot easier to support. The discovery was made using a telescope onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) – a …
I have read that the albedo of the moon is very low: comparable to coke (the coal product, not the drink). If the moon had an atmosphere and clouds we would see it as many times brighter.
Elsewhere, buried in the article, is the statement that there is a higher concentration of water in the Sahara desert than there on the moon. So the article is PR padding rather than news. They could probably discover a few atoms of gold, or plutonium, there if they tried. Or phosphine, as on Venus.
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But the quote was,
“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate.
You might argue that a reference to "dark side" means the "unexplored side." But this reference is to "sunlit side". There is no permanent "sunlit side" - and no easy way to explain such a statement except to conclude that Paul Hertz's understanding of astrophysics is below high-school level.
On the other hand, he may simply be referring to any part which gets sunlight because previously it was theorised that if there was water on the Moon it could only exist in places in permanent shade. The sunny parts is one "side" at a time, although of course what is the sunlit "side" is constantly move around the entire circumference.
"Radiation from the Sun frees hydroxy (OH) from chemical compounds in the lunar soil, and tiny meteorite impacts provide the heat needed to merge two hydroxy particles to ultimately form water."
How hard would it be to do something similar in a controlled way and collect the water directly? i.e. build a processing plant with soil going in and water+tailings coming out.
There is probably brine a few hundred meters down where it is warmer
That sort of claim requires some sort of evidence. As far as I am aware, the Moon is a "cold" body - it has no metallic core, certainly not a molten one, so no radioactive metals to provide an internal heat source like the Earth. AFAIK, there's no evidence that there was ever an appreciable amount of water on the Moon, which is what you would need for it to form aquifers. It also bears mentioning that if water ever existed in its liquid form, the combination of a lack of atmosphere, low gravitational escape velocity and solar wind would pretty much guarantee its loss into space in a relatively short period of time. Which is why the important part of this article is how the water is trapped in tiny glass beads.
The moon is made from the same stuff the rest of the planets are made of. The so called gas giants have lots of water - much more than the earth - so water is likely also present in the moon brechia. The core of the moon is very hot around 1700 Kelvin, while the surface rock is about 280 Kelvin, so a few meters down, the rock will be warm enough to have liquids.
The moon is made from the same stuff the rest of the planets are made of.
Simply put, all bodies in the solar system were formed from the same accretion disk (with the possible exception of a few extrasolar rocks like Oumuamua). It goes without saying that the middle of this disk, would be hotter due the source of heat - even before the Sun reached the critical ignition temperature, the middle would have been hotter due to gravity. That means that the things condensing and accreting near the middle would be different to those further away, so you get rocky bodies near the Sun and gas giants further away. Most of the water ends up in the outer solar system, hence the preponderance of icy bodies forming the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and no ice moons in the inner solar system. The Earth is thought of as a watery body, but itself only consists of 0.02% water, which is thought to have arrived in large part in asteroids from the outer solar system.
It is demonstrably true that the rocky inner bodies are different in nature to the gaseous outer ones. By your logic, the Earth is made of the same stuff as Jupiter. Reductio ad absurbum.
water water everywhere....
I would suggest that the chances are that any water now found on the moon was already water before it arrived either via water carrying collisions comets etc and/or via collection from that knocked off the atmosphere of nearby Earth (planet).
This since the moon has even less gravity than the Earth which tends to loose any free hydrogen via solar wind stripping.
If I remember right then A.C. Clark was not a scientist himself but got "his" scifi concepts from hanging around in pubs with UK Governement scientists who were themselves not allowed to publish due to being under the offical secrets act. Carrying for me the same scent as Alexander Fleming and "his" discovery of antibiotics. With all this I still enjoyed his stories even if where he moved to when he made money was a bit worrying, other might think there is nothing sarong with it though.
Cough Gary Glitter cough
Only if your initial encounter of the moon is along the equatorial plane. If your initial orbit of the Earth is at a slight angle compared to the Moon's orbit, you can approach the Moon from above / below the equatorial plane. Your orbital insertion burn would then put you in a very high-inclination orbit without the fuss of an expensive plane-change manoeuvre.
I believe NASA are planning this kind of approach / orbit for the Lunar Gateway.
"show the Clavius regolith contains about 100 to 412 parts per million of water – that’s roughly a 12-ounce bottle of water, or about 355 ml of the liquid, per cubic metre of lunar soil."
Or in Reg units 0.0004 of an Olympic-sized swimming pool will yield enough for one water for a can of beer.
Better get Tony to start the beer making experiments then.
Don't forget, it's 1 litre of water *encased in glass beads* per 3 cubic metres of regolith.
"This energy also melts surrounding material to form the glass beads that act as a protective casing to allow the water molecules to survive.."
So you don't just have to dig through 3 cubic metres of moon dirt, you have to melt a hefty portion of it as well in order to release the few molecules of water stored within. At what point does it become more economic to just ship water directly from Earth?
>>>At what point does it become more economic to just ship water directly from Earth?<<<
When it costs more to process the dirt, spacex launch costs are about $2,500 per Kg currently so $800/m3 give or take is the (declining) upper cost limit.
At the current cost level other methods of producing water are potentially viable, but eventually someone will just start grabbing the lumps of ice floating about in space because water can also be turned into rocket fuel and lifting that from earth has the same cost.
"Better to set up shop on the south pole, where there is apparently many tons of frozen ice to deal with"
I agree because both polar regions are well served by lots of water ice at the bottom of polar craters (same thing applies to planet Mercury).
Incidentally, the US previously had an enormously ambitious plant to set up bases on the Moon in the form of Project Horizon (Alert! - large Pdf download): https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB479/docs/EBB-Moon01_sm.pdf
From the reg article it said that the water was produced from OH groups released from the rock itself (carbonates or hydrates perchance?). If the rock contains O and H, then if you are processing 3 tonnes of it, it would be better to just electrolyse off the OH from the whole lot, and you'd probably get in the order of 100kg of water instead.
There is probably liquid water and even natural gas on the moon. The interior of the moon is about 1700 Kelvin, therefore liquids can exist in the crust, same as on earth. The moon is made from the same dirt as the earth so down below the surface, it should be rather similar in many respects.
Titan is massive enough (1.82 Moons), and far enough from the sun (9.5 AU) to retain an atmosphere. If you moved it to the Earth's orbit at 1 AU, it would be appreciably warmer, which would almost certainly result in its atmosphere being stripped, with the possible exception of the heavier hydrocarbons. Anything that exists as a liquid counts as atmosphere for this purpose, due to vapour pressure.
So basically, if Titan was where the Moon is, it would be a tarry lump with no methane.
You need to read up on:
1) Vapour pressure
2) Lunar escape velocity
3) Molecular velocity distribution (which is a function of molecular mass and temperature)
If a material is a liquid, it has a non-zero vapour pressure, which means that some of it will evaporate and form a gas phase. If any of the molecules in that gas can reach a velocity above the escape velocity of the body it sits on, it will be lost to space. This will decrease the vapour pressure, leading to further evaporation.
This is the reason that Earth loses helium to space. The molecular mass, of 4, leads to a high mean velocity, which has an appreciable distribution above the Earth's escape velocity, and it is lost to space. If free hydrogen had an appreciable lifetime in the atmosphere, we'd be losing that as well. As it turns out, hydrogen is a bit reactive so doesn't tend to exist as H2 in our atmosphere or reach the top of the atmosphere in order to escape to space.
The surface rock of the moon is twenty degrees below freezing, so whatever water is still inside the moon brechia will not escape. There are vast quantities of water and methane on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, as well as their satellites and even Pluto and Mars. So why would the moon be dry? There should still be some inside, same as Mars.
The accepted mechanism for the formation of the moon is from a collision between the Earth and another body in its early history, leading to a large amount of molten magma being thrown into space and coalescing into the Moon as we know it. The temperatures involved (hundreds to thousands of degrees) don't leave much room for liquid water to be involved (plus most of the Earth's water was thought to have arrived later during the Late Heavy Bombardment). The Moon is thus largely made from the same stuff as the Earth's mantle. It used to be thought that the Moon had no core, but current thinking is that it may have a small metallic core similar to the Earth's, but much smaller in scale, and certainly not large enough to generate a magnetic field.
The magnetic field bit is also important, because having one of these helps prevent a body's atmosphere being eroded by the solar wind.
You talk about water in the atmospheres of the gas giants. Without going into too much detail about stellar evolution and accretion discs and all that sort of thing, the rule of thumb is that when bodies are forming in a solar system, the stuff with the highest melting point accretes where it is hottest, and the lowest where it is coldest. This means rocky planets in the inner solar system, and gaseous ones in the outer solar system. Short chain hydrocarbons (methane, ethane, propane, butane etc.) have boiling points below room temperature, so can only condense where it is colder. Note that this is room temperature at Earth's atmospheric pressure. The pressure in an accretion disk is close to a vacuum so the temperatures where these things can accrete is much lower.
As I mentioned above, most of the Earth's water is thought to have arrived from the outer solar system in asteroids during a period known as "The Late Heavy Bombardment". Evidence for exactly what caused this is scant, because it is thought to have happened around 4 billion years ago. Any water arriving on the Moon would be on or close to the surface, and would be hot on arrival due to the impact. The lack of a sufficient gravitational field, protective magnetic field, or existing atmosphere would mean rapid loss to space (and potentially capture by Earth's gravity well).
It's worth adding at this point, that there are also other sources for water on Earth, for example the reactions of minerals in the mantle and crust, driven by plate tectonics. It goes without saying that the existence of tectonic plates is another distinguishing feature between the Earth and the Moon. Mars is also thought to have had tectonic activity in the past, but which has now stopped; this is a contributing factor for why Mars is now essentially dry, with the exception of its polar ice caps (which IIRC are largely CO2 in any case).
Of course, there are many competing theories about exactly how the Moon formed, and how Earth got its water. I think the general consensus though, is that, on the whole the Earth is wet and has an atmosphere, and the Moon is dry and does not.
The surface rock of the moon is twenty degrees below freezing, so whatever water is still inside the moon brechia will not escape.
Good start, but that's not how vapor pressure works. The frost line of a solar system is considerably colder than -20C because in a vacuum some evaporation will occur even to rather low temperatures. Generally, water ice is taken to be stable in a vacuum at -130 to -170C.
There are vast quantities of water and methane on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,
There are indeed vast quantities of volatiles on those gas giants, but their escape velocities are vastly higher than the moon's. For example, at Earth's surface temperature water molecules move around the atmosphere at about 300m/s. Earth's escape velocity is 11,030m/s, so any water molecule popping up to the upper edge of the atmosphere will be inclined to fall back to Earth. Per Jean's Escape Mechanism a tiny fraction of those water molecules - or more likely UV-dissociated hydrogen molecules - will escape because they're moving fast enough to do so. As escape velocities climb, it gets harder for gases to escape. Hence large worlds tend to be ice giants or gas giants.
Pluto and Titan are cold enough that the average molecular velocity of any evaporated gases are well below escape velocity and, being big blocks of volatiles, they've got enormous reserves to stay icy for billions of years.
But Luna is in a bad position: low escape velocity, relatively high temperatures. Water can easily evaporate and escape from the moon.
I’ve always thought, with very good reason, that the moon is an alien artificial outpost carefully placed by the elder races to watch us as we mature as a species, or poison ourselves to extinction. More and more, and I’m sure you’d all agree, when I look at strangers, I see Others staring out through their eyes; others who have stared across the cold dark and ancient void; others who have known the aeons and were formed when the universe was young. And now this water pretty much proves all I have written. Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth will come to know us, and we will be rent asunder by that knowing. I’m also convinced that COVID is akin to a software upgrade; those who survive it will see beyond the horizon to the cold maelstrom that is raw reality. Those who survive it will be Changed. And with that changing comes the sloughing off of the dead comforting skin of the children we once were; what will we be now, Yog-Sothoth? What are your infernal plans, Azathoth? It is not an accident that we have been allowed to discover more of what we romantically and misguided call the moon. And when the Great Portal is open, we will truly know what it is to exist. 1] Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication
Has Amanfrommars descovered religion?
Also, doesn't space fornication require at least 3 people?
 points to God not being omnipotent since he/she/it can only hold 7 stars.
 fair point, but currently the liars seem to be winning.
 That depends on where you labour and under what conditions. Heatstroke is a nasty thing and shows poor working conditions. Complain to your deity if working conditions are unduly harsh.
 Am I not allowed to realise my first love was a poor choice? Am I to be held to youthful indiscretions forever without forgiveness?
 I'm slightly lost. I know I should deal with the oldest support tickets first, but how does a candle come into it? And where did come from? The mind boggles..
 The who? Nicolaitans? And what have they done to deserve such hate? I'm not going to dislike someone because I'm told to. What do you take me for? A daily mail reader?
 I've got two ears, does that mean I get double the spirit listening? What exactly am I overcoming? It'd be helpful to give some instructions so I know if I'm doing it right, especially since I like abit of gardening...
 Sorry, where? Smyrna? Can't find that on the map. Also could you more specific and not sound like something from a cryptic crossword? Otherwise, this implies that people are cutting in line of a queue and that's just not on.
 So I'm poor but rich.. Or rich but poor? Not sure at this point, and does that mean all Jews? I thought there was laws against that sort of thing?or is there some special non-law breaking way of telling which is which? (and at this point who can say that Satan is really the bad guy? At least he seems more honest about his lot in life)
 So be cool about everything? Got it. 10 days in prison, seems short. Is that for the above antisemitic thing? Just checking ahead of time so I know what too tell the arresting officer.
 Ahhh, is this for the other ear? The non-spirit listening one? Also not suffer a second death? So. If I have a heart attack and die on a operating table and then get my heart started again, I'll be immortal? Or just non-plussed about death?
 These angels sure get around. Also, don't trust those with Sabers, Katanas, Scimitars, Kaos etc etc.
 Look, if you're going to attack a person where his favourite seat is, I'd get somewhat annoyed as well. Enough to kill? Well if you come at me with a double edged sword of course I'd try and defend myself. (though not with a single edge sword as those aren't to be trusted apparently).
 Don't trust those who are dicks and trip you up. Fair enough... But not eating food sacrificed to idols? Awww come on, it's only going to waste otherwise.
 This again? What did they do? Sacrifice your cat?
 So if I don't repent, you'll rock up quickly and attack others like a lunatic with a sword in your mouth? I feel conflicted, as not repenting sounds like it would be a hoot to watch until the police arrived....ooooh is that what you meant by being imprisoned, got it.
 hang on. I've run out of ears. Also why are you hiding manna? Don't feel like sharing? Though the white stone with hidden names on it sound amusing but somewhat redundant. Sort of like it would end up in a garden pond, being overlooked save for those in the know.
 So the son of God is angry but has really cool, shiny shoes? Like brass? I think my youngest has some trainers like that.
 So I'm going to get micromanaged by a deity? Like having a manager wasn't bad enough.
 She sounds like a hippy. Is that what got you so angry against her? Also pretty sure I wouldn't suffer fornication or free food. Just saying.
 Sounds like you're just blowing off a friend with benefits now. How ungrateful..
Any feedback, warmly discarded.
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The problem with those, is that people building fast reactors tend to like building fast breeder reactors, and that whole breeder bit can be a bit of an issue, unless you like your climate to be at a couple of million degrees. The right sort of fast reactor is the sort that is burning all of the actinides, including the ones with a mass of 239...
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Water is a substance that can be fully recycled in a closed system. This would be a lot easier than getting it from trace amounts in the soil. There would inevitably be some loss, but this could surely be kept small enough to be made up by fairly infrequent resupplies from Earth. ISTM that it would be far more difficult to obtain sufficient food and oxygen to support a largely self-sustaining colony, though some form of farm might provide both if it was practical to grow suitable plants (perhaps vats of algae) on a large enough scale.
Well, hydrogen and oxygen make ok rocket fuels*. If you were able to produce them on the moon, that makes a lot of space travel much easier.
*I'm sure better ones exist, but if you don't need to haul all of your fuel out of Earth's gravity well, you can trade performance for availability at the moon.
I always thought that the film and novel of 2001 were developed at the same time. Kubrick worked on the film script, with Clarke's assistance, and Arthur C turned it into a book. So it is possible that it was young Stanley that decided on Clavius Crater. FWIW Clavius does not feature in The Sentinel.
However, according to the infallible Wikipedia, there was a Clavius Base in Erich Dolezal's "Mond in Flammen", published over a decade earlier in 1954.
I'll get my coat, it's the anorak.