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Everything and anything => Interesting sites/links, ebooks/book, Reference papers, pdfs... => : electrobleme September 24, 2009, 22:49:19

: water everywhere on the moon? how?
: electrobleme September 24, 2009, 22:49:19
How come water is spread all over the moon but seemingly NOT in the chosen dark and cold crater for the LCROSS mission?

Water is created where there are Plasma Discharges Events (surface of the sun, in the earth, from "Black Holes"). Is water created on the Moons surface due to "electrical discharge" exchanges or processes? Is water found where the TLP's have been seen? Water signals are seemingly greater where there are "young craters". If craters are formed by an electric Plasma Discharge, EDM on a large scale, then are these "young craters" areas where there is natural electrical activity. Either through the minerals they had there, where electrical currents from space are concentrated or even the Moons own Telluric Currents.

If it is water then that fits in with the EU idea that electrical activity can create all the minerals, water and gases around us. Allthough the moon does not have lots of water scientists will say that there is the chance of lots of water underground etc.
: Water on the Moon?
: electrobleme September 24, 2009, 22:49:40

Water on the Moon?

Separate lunar missions indicate evidence of ice and hydrated minerals.

Eric Hand
Moon's southern poleNew laser altimeter data reveal topographical highs (reds) and lows (blue) near the Moon's south pole.NASA

A decade ago Faith Vilas, director of the Multiple Mirror Telescope in Arizona, developed a sideline obsession with the Moon. Perusing archived data from the Galileo mission to Jupiter, she saw something odd in the pictures taken of the Moon. When she filtered the pictures for certain infrared wavelengths, a telling signal popped out at a few spots near the Moon's south pole. The signal, at least in asteroids, is associated with phyllosilicates, which are minerals that need two things to form: heat and water. Was this a clue pointing to all the water ice that many think hides within the Moon's polar craters?

She thought so, and submitted an abstract to the 1999 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. But for years she couldn't get the idea published. "It kept getting roundly slapped down," she says.

Now, she's being vindicated. Results soon to be published from two other spacecraft will show detailed spectra confirming that, indeed, the polar regions of the moon are chock full of water-altered minerals.

That's not all. Early results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched on 18 June, are offering a wide array of watery signals. Increasingly, lunar scientists are confident that the decades-long debate is over. The Moon, in fact, has water in all sorts of places: not just locked up in minerals, but scattered throughout the broken-up surface, and, potentially, in blocks or sheets of ice at depth.

 “We are on the verge of a renaissance in our thinking about the poles of the Moon, including how water ice gets there.”

"We are on the verge of a renaissance in our thinking about the poles of the Moon, including how water ice gets there," says Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which on 9 October will slam into a polar crater with the intention of ploughing up a plume of water ice for many telescopic eyes to see. "Our simplistic ideas were just that: simplistic."

The new evidence has scientists scratching their heads, not only to explain the origin and movements of the water, but also at how a tantalizing signal first seen a decade ago could have been left for so long. "No one really took [Vilas' work] seriously," says one lunar scientist with knowledge of the new studies, which are to be published in Science. "It wasn't until word got out that people suspected and went and looked."
Hydrogen excess

The initial LRO results, released Thursday, confirm what was long suspected as a way for ice to stay trapped on the Moon for billions of years. A thermal mapping instrument showed that permanently shadowed regions within deep polar craters are as cold as 35o Kelvin (–238o Celsius). Project scientist Richard Vondrak says they are the coldest spots in the Solar System — even colder than the surface of Pluto.

But the surprise comes from a different instrument on LRO, which counts slow-moving neutrons as a way of measuring hydrogen abundance in the top metre or so of the surface. This hydrogen is often interpreted as a proxy for water ice, although it could also be molecular hydrogen or hydrogen trapped in other molecules. Like the earlier Lunar Prospector mission, the LRO instrument has already found a significant excess of hydrogen at the poles. But with added resolution, it is seeing surprising variability within the polar regions. Some of the craters appear enriched in hydrogen. Others are not. Stranger still, some areas outside the crater walls — which were thought to get too hot for water to linger — show an excess of hydrogen. Vondrak says this shows that the water could have arrived more recently, or that it can persist if buried as impacts till the lunar soil.

The radar instrument on LRO, which probes for chunks or blocks of ice, rather than the more diffuse signal of the neutron detector, is showing similar variability, says Stewart Nozette, principal investigator for the radar instrument. At the south pole, he is seeing strong ice-like signals in the floors of a few deep craters. But unfortunately, he says, there is no strong signal for Cabeus A, the crater that NASA announced on 9 September as the crash site for LCROSS.

Colaprete is worried about the weak radar signal at Cabeus A, and in light of the new data has delayed a final LCROSS manoeuvre. He will make a final decision on Monday or Tuesday in advance of a 26 September deadline for altering the spacecraft's trajectory. The main Cabeus crater is the current best alternative to Cabeus A, he says.
Deep impact

If the LCROSS impact spews up ice, it will eliminate the last vestiges of doubt about water on the Moon. It could also start a new hunt: to find a record of impact events, such as water-rich comet strikes, that put the ice there in the first place. These, if they were ever dated, Vondrak says, could offer similar value to ice cores in Antarctica — a way to understand an ancient bombardment history that has been erased on Earth but could live on in the craters of the Moon

With the detection of water ice will come debate over the mechanisms that put it there. There are two popular theories. One suggests comets from the ancient heavy bombardment that peaked 3.9 billion years ago. These impacts would have buried large doses of water deep under the surface. But others think that a more continuous, shallow system of water deposition could be happening — one water source in this system could be micrometeorites, which impact frequently and carry small amounts of water.

Another source could be the solar wind, which sends a steady stream of protons into the surface, where they can combine with oxygen in the lunar soil to make water. Most of that water quickly erodes into space, but some of it can travel, via random molecular walks, to the polar traps, where it can persist. The variability in the hydrogen and radar signals between craters suggests the sporadic impacts of comets long ago, but the signals outside the crater walls could suggest a more continuous shallow emplacement. Vondrak says both theories could be partially right. "It's not either-or," he says.

Meanwhile, lunar scientists are eagerly awaiting data from two groups investigating the hydrated minerals in polar areas outside the permanently shadowed craters (the only place where instruments that depend on reflected light can see). Observations made during the extended mission of the Deep Impact probe, and from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an instrument aboard India's recently ended Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, will be published in Science, and will show more detailed spectroscopic evidence for the types of watery minerals that Vilas saw in the Galileo pictures so long ago.

Vilas herself finally published her result last year in a Japanese journal1. "I'm annoyed that it was ignored some years ago," she says, "but I'm really thrilled that it's being proven the case."
Water on the Moon? - nature.com (http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090918/full/news.2009.931.html)
: It turns out the moon is a lot wetter than we ever thought
: electrobleme September 24, 2009, 22:51:56

New research shows water present across the moon's surface - It turns out the moon is a lot wetter than we ever thought

Date Released: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Source: University of Tennessee Knoxville

When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back souvenirs in the form of moon rocks to be used for scientific analysis, and one of the chief questions was whether there was water to be found in the lunar rocks and soils.

The problem was they faced was complicated by the fact that most of the rock boxes containing the lunar samples had leaked. This led the scientists to assume that the trace amounts of water they found came from Earth air that had entered the containers. The assumption remained that, outside of possible ice at the moon's poles, there was no water on the moon.

Forty years later, a team of scientists including Larry Taylor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has found evidence that the old assumption may be wrong. To do so, they used a high-tech instrument on a satellite in orbit around the moon.

"To some extent, we were fooled," said Taylor, a distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, who has studied the moon since the original Apollo missions. "Since the boxes leaked, we just assumed the water we found was from contamination with terrestrial air."

The team of researchers used a NASA instrument called the Moon Mineralogy Mapper M3 for short housed on the Indian Chandrayyan-1 satellite, India's first lunar expedition, which was launched into orbit around the moon late last year.

M3 analyzes the way that light from the sun reflects off the lunar surface to understand what materials comprise the lunar soil. Light is reflected in different wavelengths off of different minerals, and scientists can use those differences mostly imperceptible to the human eye to know what is present in the thin layer of upper soil so-called reflectance spectrometry.

In this case, the instrument detected wavelengths of reflected light that would indicate a chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen. Given water's well-known chemical symbol, H2O, which represents two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom, this discovery was a source of great interest to the researchers.

The instrument can only see the very uppermost layers of the lunar soil perhaps to a few centimeters below the surface, but what it saw, according to the scientists, was water, previously theorized but not proven to exist only in permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles. What scientists did not understand, though, was where this newly observed water came from.

There are potentially two types of water on the moon: exogenic, meaning water from outside sources, such as comets striking the moon's surface, and endogenic, meaning water that originates on the moon. Taylor and his colleagues suspect that the water they're seeing in the moon's surface is endogenic.

Since the rocks and soils that compose the moon contain about 45 percent oxygen, mostly combined in silicate phases, the question before researchers is where the hydrogen component of the water they're seeing with M3 came from. In this case, they believe it may have come from an astronomical phenomenon called the solar wind.

As the sun undergoes nuclear fusion, it constantly emits a stream of particles, mostly protons, which are positively charged hydrogen atoms. On Earth, the atmosphere and magnetism prevent us from being bombarded by these protons, but the moon lacks that protection, meaning the oxygen-rich minerals and glasses on the surface of the moon are constantly pounded by hydrogen in the form of protons, moving at velocities of one-third the speed of light.

When those protons hit the lunar surface with enough force, suspects Taylor, they break apart oxygen bonds in soil materials, and where free oxygen and hydrogen are together, there's a high chance that trace amounts of water will be formed. These traces are thought to be about a quart of water per ton of soil.

"The isotopes of oxygen that exist on the moon are the same as those that exist on Earth, so it was difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between water from the moon and water from Earth," said Taylor. "Since the early soil samples only had trace amounts of water, it was easy to make the mistake of attributing it to contamination."

Taylor and other M3 team members believe their findings will be of particular significance as mankind continues to plan for a return to the moon. The maps created by M3 could provide mission planners with locations prime for extraction of needed water from the lunar soil.

The M3 team, made up of scientists from the U.S. and India, reported its findings in this week's edition of the online journal Science Express. The team, funded by NASA, is led by researchers at Brown University, which collaborates with Taylor and UT Knoxville's Planetary Geosciences Institute.
It turns out the moon is a lot wetter than we ever thought - spaceref .com (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=29222)
: Stream of Evidence from 3 Spacecraft Indicates That the Moon Has Water
: electrobleme September 24, 2009, 22:55:33

Stream of Evidence from 3 Spacecraft Indicates That the Moon Has Water
A trio of reports using recent and archival data point to molecular water across the lunar surface

By John Matson   
A hotly anticipated experiment will test the theory next month that the moon's permanently shadowed polar craters harbor pockets of water ice. A NASA spacecraft called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will perform a two-stage bombardment of a south polar crater to see what rises up in the ensuing debris plume. 

Now, just two weeks before LCROSS's scheduled barrage, comes a suite of evidence that the moon indeed hosts water. But the new studies point to a different sort of deposit than the concentrated ice supply LCROSS seeks—they indicate that water exists diffusely across the moon as molecules clinging to the surface in low concentrations. What is more, there may be a water cycle in which the molecule is broken down and reformulated over the span of a lunar daytime (about two Earth weeks long). 

A trio of papers published online this week in Science, each using spectroscopic data collected by a different spacecraft, find light absorptions characteristic of water or hydroxyl (OH) molecules or both. And the papers' authors say that the scenario in which both molecules appear across the lunar surface is the most plausible explanation for their data.

WATER FROM WIND: In this diagram, which models one possible explanation for water molecules that have been detected at low density across the lunar surface, hydrogen ions in the solar wind bombard the moon's sunward side and react with oxygen-bearing compounds to form water. At lunar noon, when the temperature reaches its peak, sunlight can break water molecules apart, but in cooler hours the solar wind contributes to their re-formation.

Water and hydroxyl are related molecular species and have similar spectroscopic signatures—the wavelengths characteristic of each reside nearby in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The three-micron absorption band indicative of water appeared broadly across the lunar surface in spectrometric data taken by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), an instrument that circled the moon aboard India's Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft until the orbiter's mission ended prematurely last month. 

At first, the instrument's minders were confounded, figuring that something on M3 had gone awry. "The first reaction that I think all of us had was, this is ridiculous," says Carle Pieters, a planetary scientist at Brown University and principal investigator for M3. The team was finding evidence for water not in permanently shadowed craters but on the sunlit portions of the moon, which just did not add up. 

"We spent months going through our data, trying to find what went wrong," she recalls. "What is it that gives us this signature that we can't get rid of?" Unable to troubleshoot the odd result, Pieters's group turned to a second, and then a third, independent observation. 

Roger Clark, a U.S. Geological Survey spectroscopist on the M3 team, reanalyzed archival data from the Cassini spacecraft, now exploring Saturn and its satellites, taken during a 1999 flyby of the moon. The Cassini data agreed with the finding that water appears to be widespread across the lunar surface. 

Yet more confirmation came from a timely flyby of the Deep Impact probe, en route to a cometary rendezvous in 2010. In June the spacecraft swung past the moon, and its spectrometer put the lunar water theory to the test—a test that went swimmingly well. 

"In the Deep Impact data, we have very strong evidence that [water is] everywhere," says planetary geologist Jessica Sunshine, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, who works on both the M3 instrument and the Deep Impact mission. "There is no place on the moon that we don't see this." She notes that the water appears to hug the lunar surface—reaching depths measured in millimeters or even hundreds of microns—and that the local abundance in a typical area appears quite low. "We're still talking about amounts of water that are less than the hottest desert you could think of here," Sunshine says.

Paul Lucey, a planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who wrote a commentary in Science to accompany the three spectroscopic studies, says that he found the results "pretty stunning." 

"I was on vacation when I read the first paper, and I used colorful language when I read it," Lucey says. "I was amazed." At the same time, he says, it is not certain that the spectra show both water and hydroxyl. "We see OH or H2O," he says. "I believe further analysis of the data that now exists will probably allow distinguishing between those two cases." 

On the other hand, Lucey notes, the Deep Impact study "is suggesting that the signature is changing with temperature or time, so that suggests to me that water is more likely, just because OH binds so tightly to minerals and is not going to be very mobile." In some places, such as near the equator, where daytime temperatures are high, Deep Impact saw the signal dissipating by the time the sun was directly overhead, returning when cooler temperatures arrived in the lunar evening. 

One explanation for that phenomenon is that a stream of charged hydrogen atoms in the solar wind could react with oxygen-bearing lunar minerals to produce water at the surface. That process would explain the steady, fast-acting replenishment seen in the data after sunlight has dissociated the water molecules. 

Sunshine notes that in her view it is not so much a question of whether hydroxyl or water is present but how much each contributes to the spectral signature. "The water and hydroxyl sort of mix, and it's more complicated to know what is uniquely water versus uniquely OH," she says. "However, we are seeing changes as this water loss happens, and we see changes in the different parts of the absorption feature, so we're seeing different species coming in and out. The simplest explanation for that is certainly that you have water being lost. OH is a much stronger bond; it's harder to get rid of." 

Pieters says the data from the three papers, taken together, settle the water question. "Basically, the bottom line, if you read all three of them, is there is no question that water and hydroxyl exist on the surficial upper layers of the moon," she says. 

So why has this widespread surface phenomenon never been uncovered before, especially given that its discovery relies in part on 10-year-old data? "I think it's just one of those funny science sociological phenomena that it just didn't occur to take the measurement," Lucey says.

Sunshine says that the focus on polar traps, such as that sought by LCROSS, tended to dominate the search for water on the lunar surface. "Everybody tends to think about this in terms of polar ice caps and skating rinks and lakes, and we're talking about molecules," she says. "It's a real shift in the way people think about water on the moon." 
Stream of Evidence from 3 Spacecraft Indicates That the Moon Has Water - .scientificamerican .com (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=moon-water-surface&page=2)

: Chandrayaan-1 detects presence of water on the Moon
: electrobleme September 25, 2009, 02:03:14

Chandrayaan-1 detects presence of water on the Moon

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched with the prime objective of finding traces of water on the lunar surface besides mapping minerals and chemicals on the Moon. Towards this, a host of sophisticated instruments were included in Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, like Moon Impact Probe (MIP) and Hyper-Spectral Imager (HySI) from ISRO as well as Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) and Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) through NASA to collect relevant data from the lunar surface. During the mission, excellent quality of data from all these instruments has been obtained. While M3 has covered nearly 97% of the lunar surface, some of the other instruments have covered more than 90%.

A path-breaking finding has evolved recently from the detailed analysis of the data obtained from M3, which has clearly indicated the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface extending from lunar poles to about 60 deg. Latitude. Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, was also found in the lunar soil. The confirmation of water molecules and hydroxyl molecule in the moon's polar regions raises new questions about its origin and its effect on the mineralogy of the moon.

M3 measures the intensity of reflected sunlight from the lunar surface at infrared wavelengths, splitting the spectral colours of the lunar surface into small enough bits revealing finer details of the lunar surface composition. This enabled identification of the presence of various minerals on the lunar surface that have characteristic spectral signature at specific wavelengths. Since reflection of sunlight occurs near the moon’s surface, such studies provide information on the mineral composition of the top crust of a few millimeters of the lunar surface. The Indian instrument HySI, that covers the wavelength region 0.4 to 0.9 micron, also provided additional data in this regard that helped in better understanding of moon’s mineral composition.

The findings from M3 onboard Chandrayaan-1 clearly shows a marked signature in the infrared region of 2.7 to 3.2 micron in the absorption spectrum, which provided a clear indication of the presence of hydroxyl and water molecules.

The scientific team, after detailed analysis, has come to the conclusion that there are traces of hydroxyl (OH) and water (H2O) molecules on the surface of the moon closer to the polar region. It is also concluded that they are in the form of a thin layer embedded in rocks and chemical compounds on the surface of the moon and the quantity is also extremely small of the order of about 700 ppm. These molecules could have come from the impact of comets or radiation from the sun. But most probable source could be low energy hydrogen carried by solar wind impacting on the minerals on lunar surface. This in turn forms OH or H2O molecules by deriving the oxygen from metal oxide.

Following these findings, the scientific team revisited the data from NASA’s Deep Impact Mission launched in 2005 which carried an instrument similar to M3. Deep Impact Probe observed the moon during the period June 2 and 9, 2009. This, along with some laboratory tests carried out from samples brought from Apollo missions, has confirmed that the signature is genuine and there is a thin layer of surface mineral which contains traces of hydroxyl and water molecules.

The M3 observations are further strengthened by results obtained from the analysis of archived data of lunar observation in 1999 by another NASA Mission, Cassini, on its way to Saturn. This data set also revealed clear signatures of both OH and H2O absorption features on the lunar surface.

The analysis of the huge volume of M3 data was carried out by a joint team of scientists from US and India. The lead role was taken up by Dr.Carle Pieters, Principal Investigator from Brown University, USA and Prof. J N Goswami, Principal Scientist, Chandrayaan-1 from Physical Research Laboratory of India`s Department of Space. The findings were published in Sciencexpress in its September 24, 2009 edition.

Analysis of data from other instruments on board Chandrayaan-1 is in progress.
Chandrayaan-1 detects presence of water on the Moon - isro .org (http://www.isro.org/news/scripts/Sep24_2009.aspx)