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Moon's Water has 3 Flavors!?



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Raiton Kensei

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Moon's Water Comes in Three Flavors, Scientists Say - Yahoo! News

Since the surprise discovery last year of trace amounts of water on the moon, scientists have been redefining their concept of Earth's rocky neighbor. Now researchers say the water on the moon comes in three different flavors.


Until recently the moon was thought to be bone dry. But measurements in the last year from the Mini-SAR and Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3 or "M-cubed") instruments on India's Chandrayaan-1 moon probe and from NASA's recent LCROSS mission have proved that wrong.


Mini-SAR found 40 craters, each containing frozen water at least 6.6 feet (2 meters) deep on the lunar surface – which adds up to 600 million tons of lunar ice stuff altogether. LCROSS slammed into the moon on Oct. 9, 2009 and found evidence of water in another crater.


"So far we've found three types of moon water," said Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. "We have Mini-SAR's thick lenses of nearly pure crater ice, LCROSS's fluffy mix of ice crystals and dirt, and M-cube's thin layer that comes and goes all across the surface of the moon."


LCROSS struck moon water in a cold, permanently dark crater at the lunar south pole. Since then, the science team has been thoroughly mining the data collected from the intentional moon crash.


"It looks as though at least two different layers of our crater soil contain water, and they represent two different time epochs," said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS principal investigator. "The first layer, ejected in the first 2 seconds from the crater after impact, contains water and hydroxyl bound up in the minerals, and even tiny pieces of pure ice mixed in. This layer is a thin film and may be relatively 'fresh,' perhaps recently replenished."


This brand of moon water resembles the water M3 discovered last year in scant but widespread amounts, bound to the rocks and dust in the very top millimeters of lunar soil, scientists say. But the second layer is different.


"It contains even more water ice plus a treasure chest of other compounds we weren't even looking for," he says. "So far the tally includes sulfur dioxide (SO2), methanol (CH3OH), and the curious organic molecule diacetylene (H2C4). This layer seems to extend below at least 0.5 meters and is probably older than the ice we're finding on the surface."


The researchers don't yet know why some craters contain loads of pure ice while others are dominated by an ice-soil mixture. It's probably a sign that the moon water comes from more than one source.


"Some of the water may be made right there on the moon," Spudis said. "Protons in the solar wind can make small amounts of water continuously on the lunar surface by interacting with metal oxides in the rocks. But some of the water is probably deposited on the moon from other places in the solar system."


These findings are completely rewriting the book on the moon.


"It's a different world up there," says Spudis, "and we've barely scratched the surface. Who knows what discoveries lie ahead?"

So not only does the moon have some form of water.....but it could have 3 different flavors. Just wanted to hear other's thoughts about it.
 

Roa

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Freaking awesome.

I wonder if they will bring some to earth so we can try it...s1butz
I hope. I'd pay a lotta $$$$$$$$$$ to drink that stuff.
 

Solar

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I still prefer grape drank, but I honestly wonder what would happen if we had some of that stuff.
 

Raiton Kensei

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Probably it'll bring new diseases that would be un-curable......or on the bright side it could cure all diseases........or it could do absolutly nothing and have the same effects as regular water.
 

Noir

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Was not even aware the moon had water. But chea. Let's market it.
 

Athel

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So you'll find moon water right next to Dasani in a few decades.

In all seriousness, that's pretty cool. Means that, at some point, it must have had much more in the way of terrain than it does now.
 

Fortissimo

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That's really interesting, it makes me wonder if there is more than just water dirt and rocks on the moon. Maybe trace organic materials?
 

Orion

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Was not even aware the moon had water. But chea. Let's market it.
People by bottled water for something like a thousand or more times the price of the same amount from tap. Imagine if we got them to buy water from the moon!
 

Jadentheman

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At least we one step closer to a moon base. Hope we can build one before Dec 23 2012
 

Orion

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At least we one step closer to a moon base. Hope we can build one before Dec 23 2012
Yeah that's not going to happen in the next four years. Aside from that, the 2012 thing is total crap, and there would be no hope in having a base on the moon to 'ride out' any disasters that occur on Earth, since the base would not be self-sufficient and the occupants (which would be rather few) would die eventually anyway.
 
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