Friday, December 18, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

From the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco: Wednesday the talk was about water on the Moon. In 1999, as the Cassini spacecraft passed the Moon on the way to Saturn, the Visual Infared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) found the 3-micron signature of water molecules and hydroxyl. Though found 10 years ago, this discovery was not published until this September.

This year the finding was confirmed by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard India's Chandrayaan orbiter. Further confirmation was found from the Epoxi spacecraft which passed the Moon in June 2009 on its way to encounter a comet. Corroborating evidence from 3 missions show water and/or hydroxyl on the Moon. Today the Moon, once thought drier than a bone, is known to contain water.

As seen in this slide from yesterday afternoon, the two major 'water relations' on the Moon are temperature and composition. Cold terrain, such as near the poles contains more water. Mare contain less water than the lunar highlands. For these reasons, polar highlands are considered to be likely locations for settlement.

In response to this writer's question, another speaker noted that 10^21 kg asteroid Ceres could be composed of nearly 30% fresh water. While Earth contains about 10^21 kg water, not all of it is fresh. Ceres could potentially contain more fresh water than Earth! The asteroids are also potential sites for human mining. With possible changes in NASA's visions for the Moon and beyond, humans could venture to an asteroid in the near future.

Labels: ,


Blogger Lowrence said...

Hi Riofrio,

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I was very much impressed with your blog. Great post, we are easy to understand. I like this post.I found out that this blog is very interesting and informative.

I would be interested in exchanging links with you. If we exchange links you can get healthy traffic from us and our visitors can get relative and useful information form your site.

I have placed your link at NASA Space Information Useful links

I would like to request a link at

Title: NASA Space Information


My Email Id:

Hope you would add my link. Let me know once you added my link.

Thank you very much for your time and web support. Best of luck to you!

Lawrence Davidson

9:28 PM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Hello Louise, happy 2010!

"water, water, everywhere" is a quote from my favourite poem ever, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

"Water, water, and all the boards did shrink,
water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink!"

Unfortunately it looks like water on the moon will be hardly drinkable too, for a while at least!

12:55 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Happy 2010 to you too, Tommaso! Hearing from you is always wonderful. As you may tell from my infrequent posts, science keeps me very busy. Best wishes to the CDF team in finding new and exciting physics.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Kam Log. said...

You describe it perfectly.
anal fuck

12:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page