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Thread: 'Widespread water' found on the Moon,

  1. #1 'Widespread water' found on the Moon, 
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    The scientific discovery made by the Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 was announced by Nasa today.

    'Widespread water has been detected on the surface of the Moon. None of us had expected this 10 years ago,' Nasa's Carle Pieters said.

    Dr Jessica Sunshine, one of the researchers who found the water, said: 'It's sort of just sticking on the surface. We always think of the Moon as dead, and this is sort of a dynamic process that's going on.'

    Experts believe the water is trapped in the Moon's surface dirt and in theory can be extracted in large quantities to support life.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...etects-it.html


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    The ISRO site:
    http://www.isro.org/satellites/chandrayaan-1.aspx

    Here's a fairly concise story:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in...e-moon/521444/

    And here's the good old Wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan

    So the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper Module that was on the ISRO Chandrayaan-1 Probe found evidence of water and hydroxyl in the minerals of lunar soil, something like the equivalent of a few liters of water per ton of lunar soil.


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    That really isn't very much...
    Science is a mountain of theories based on a molehill of facts.
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    It may be as little as one liter per ton. Practically speaking, is it currently feasible to scrape together several tons of lunar topsoil and process enough water out so that one person can stay hydrated for one day? It costs something like 10,000 USD to get one pound into orbit, so what would processing tons of lunar soil cost? Would the cost of sending the processing equipment to the Moon cost more than just sending the water? I suppose that a lot of the process could be automated and use free solar energy to run things, but its not like the water is going to just come to you. Some areas my have no water and the area around a permanent lunar base would eventually be depleted. How much water could we get from mass-driving an icy comet into NEO and what would that cost? Have we found useful water on the Moon?
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    Meanwhile on Mars:


    International space missions have found evidence of ice on Mars - a sign the planet could sustain extraterrestrial life.

    Nasa said its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted ice at five new Martian craters, likely kicked up by meteor impacts.

    'This ice is a relic of a more humid climate from perhaps just several thousand years ago,' said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona. 'This is a real water resource.'


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...tects-it.html#
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch2008
    It may be as little as one liter per ton. Practically speaking, is it currently feasible to scrape together several tons of lunar topsoil and process enough water out so that one person can stay hydrated for one day? It costs something like 10,000 USD to get one pound into orbit, so what would processing tons of lunar soil cost? Would the cost of sending the processing equipment to the Moon cost more than just sending the water? I suppose that a lot of the process could be automated and use free solar energy to run things, but its not like the water is going to just come to you. Some areas my have no water and the area around a permanent lunar base would eventually be depleted. How much water could we get from mass-driving an icy comet into NEO and what would that cost? Have we found useful water on the Moon?
    Maybe we could split the difference and just bring hydrogen up there, then extract the oxygen from moon rocks. There's no shortage of oxygen, just hydrogen. The regolith that covers the surface is made primarily out of Silicon Dioxide, so the main trick to getting oxygen is finding a way to separate it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe we could split the difference and just bring hydrogen up there, then extract the oxygen from moon rocks. There's no shortage of oxygen, just hydrogen. The regolith that covers the surface is made primarily out of Silicon Dioxide, so the main trick to getting oxygen is finding a way to separate it out.
    Why not just capture the solar wind, which is mostly single protons? That means hydrogen!

    As for making oxygen, just use electrolytic reduction and make oxygen and aluminum at the same time.

    these are concepts several decades old.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe we could split the difference and just bring hydrogen up there, then extract the oxygen from moon rocks. There's no shortage of oxygen, just hydrogen. The regolith that covers the surface is made primarily out of Silicon Dioxide, so the main trick to getting oxygen is finding a way to separate it out.
    Why not just capture the solar wind, which is mostly single protons? That means hydrogen!

    As for making oxygen, just use electrolytic reduction and make oxygen and aluminum at the same time.

    these are concepts several decades old.

    Apparently, the solar wind is pretty sparse.

    http://pluto.space.swri.edu/image/gl...olar_wind.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Site

    The solar wind is the supersonic outflow into interplanetary space of plasma from the Sun's corona, the region of the solar atmosphere beginning about 4000 km above the Sun's visible surface and extending several solar radii into space. It is composed of approximately equal numbers of ions and electrons; the ion component consists predominantly of protons (95%), with a small amount of doubly ionized helium and trace amounts of heavier ions. Embedded in the outflowing solar wind plasma is a weak magnetic field known as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The solar wind varies--in density, velocity, temperature, and magnetic field properties--with the solar cycle, heliographic latitude, heliocentric distance, and rotational period. It also varies in response to shocks, waves, and turbulence that perturb the interplanetary flow. Average values for solar wind velocity, density, and magnetic field strength at the orbit of the Earth are 468 km per second; density, 8.7 protons per cubic centimeter, and 6.6 nT, respectively.

    So, 8.7 protons (Hydrogen+ ions) per cubic centimeter. Unfortunately, every site I can find seems to want to give the number in cubic centimeters, so we'll have to use the other numbers to tell us how many a collector might collect.

    So, at 468 km/second, that means 46,800,000 centimeters per second. If your catching device were 1 meter squared (10,000 centimeters total area), then the number of protons that would strike it per second would be:

    46,800,000 * 10,000 * 8.7 = 4,071,600,000,000 or 4.0716 * 10 ^ 12

    A a mole of hydrogen atoms is one gram, and consists of 6.022141510^23 atoms. So.... basically it would take more than a billion seconds to collect one gram of hydrogen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe we could split the difference and just bring hydrogen up there, then extract the oxygen from moon rocks. There's no shortage of oxygen, just hydrogen. The regolith that covers the surface is made primarily out of Silicon Dioxide, so the main trick to getting oxygen is finding a way to separate it out.
    Why not just capture the solar wind, which is mostly single protons? That means hydrogen!

    As for making oxygen, just use electrolytic reduction and make oxygen and aluminum at the same time.

    these are concepts several decades old.

    Apparently, the solar wind is pretty sparse.

    http://pluto.space.swri.edu/image/gl...olar_wind.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Site

    The solar wind is the supersonic outflow into interplanetary space of plasma from the Sun's corona, the region of the solar atmosphere beginning about 4000 km above the Sun's visible surface and extending several solar radii into space. It is composed of approximately equal numbers of ions and electrons; the ion component consists predominantly of protons (95%), with a small amount of doubly ionized helium and trace amounts of heavier ions. Embedded in the outflowing solar wind plasma is a weak magnetic field known as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The solar wind varies--in density, velocity, temperature, and magnetic field properties--with the solar cycle, heliographic latitude, heliocentric distance, and rotational period. It also varies in response to shocks, waves, and turbulence that perturb the interplanetary flow. Average values for solar wind velocity, density, and magnetic field strength at the orbit of the Earth are 468 km per second; density, 8.7 protons per cubic centimeter, and 6.6 nT, respectively.

    So, 8.7 protons (Hydrogen+ ions) per cubic centimeter. Unfortunately, every site I can find seems to want to give the number in cubic centimeters, so we'll have to use the other numbers to tell us how many a collector might collect.

    So, at 468 km/second, that means 46,800,000 centimeters per second. If your catching device were 1 meter squared (10,000 centimeters total area), then the number of protons that would strike it per second would be:

    46,800,000 * 10,000 * 8.7 = 4,071,600,000,000 or 4.0716 * 10 ^ 12

    A a mole of hydrogen atoms is one gram, and consists of 6.022141510^23 atoms. So.... basically it would take more than a billion seconds to collect one gram of hydrogen.
    LOL...

    Without double checking, I assume your math is correct. Yes, it would take a very long time for very little. I feel silly. I'm usually one pointing out how large a wind farm or solar array would need to be to replace coal and oil power plants. I once calculated how large a corn farm would have to be to replace gasoline.

    Even scaling that up within feasible limits, it would take far too long to get any usable water.

    On a side note, I am a believer that our oceans continue to rise due to the amount of hydrogen the earth collects. We also used to have a greater oxygen content which I believe allowed dinosaurs to walk the earth. Otherwise, how do you explain mass being a cube function when strength is a square function for such large creatures?

    If I did my math right, the earth collects about 864 mols per second of hydrogen, or 27,248,315,510 mols a year.

    Not that the annual rate does much, but what about massive solar storms, CME, etc. How much hydrogen has the earth collected over the eons from the sun?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    If I did my math right, the earth collects about 864 mols per second of hydrogen, or 27,248,315,510 mols a year.

    Not that the annual rate does much, but what about massive solar storms, CME, etc. How much hydrogen has the earth collected over the eons from the sun?
    Have you also calculated, how much hydrogen is lost? What is the rate of losing hydrogen atoms into space? You also have to take into account the deflective power of the terrestrial magnetosphere. Most of the protons from the solar wind are diverted around the earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_escape
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1976AREPS...4..265H

    Another article indicates that the earth is losing about 3 kg of hydrogen per second which is much more than the number you calculate for hydrogen accumulation. (See the definition of a mole)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Have you also calculated, how much hydrogen is lost? What is the rate of losing hydrogen atoms into space? You also have to take into account the deflective power of the terrestrial magnetosphere. Most of the protons from the solar wind are diverted around the earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_escape
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1976AREPS...4..265H

    Another article indicates that the earth is losing about 3 kg of hydrogen per second which is much more than the number you calculate for hydrogen accumulation. (See the definition of a mole)
    No, I never went that far into researching it. I still believe the accumulation of hydrogen is greater than the loss. Not only do we on a rare occasion, pass through a larger concentration from a solar event, but we also from time to time pass through comet trails. The figures cited are nominal averages and don't account for other events.

    It is feasible that the 40 day and night flood in Genesis was caused by such an event. Granted, that's a stretch, but is it impossible?
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    We need to be a bit careful how we interpret the findings of water on the moon. The arguments above, like 'one litre per tonne is insufficient', are based on the assumption that the water distribution is homogeneous. If so, it is utterly unlike anything on Earth. AFAIK, all resources we exploit here on Earth are non homogeneously distributed, with strong concentrations of each in places that make it easy to exploit.

    My guess is that we will find that water on the moon is also non homogeneously distributed. There will be localised concentrations, which will be much easier to exploit. Obviously, a lot more surveys are needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Have you also calculated, how much hydrogen is lost? What is the rate of losing hydrogen atoms into space? You also have to take into account the deflective power of the terrestrial magnetosphere. Most of the protons from the solar wind are diverted around the earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_escape
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1976AREPS...4..265H

    Another article indicates that the earth is losing about 3 kg of hydrogen per second which is much more than the number you calculate for hydrogen accumulation. (See the definition of a mole)
    No, I never went that far into researching it. I still believe the accumulation of hydrogen is greater than the loss. Not only do we on a rare occasion, pass through a larger concentration from a solar event, but we also from time to time pass through comet trails. The figures cited are nominal averages and don't account for other events.

    It is feasible that the 40 day and night flood in Genesis was caused by such an event. Granted, that's a stretch, but is it impossible?
    In science, we base our statements on facts, not beliefs. If you want to make such strong suggestions, you should provide evidence for that. What I believe or what seems possible or impossible is totally irrelevant. So, show us that cometary tails possess enough water to cause such an event. With your style of argumentation one could also suggest that the universe consists of water, because hydrogen and oxygen do exist everywhere. But their concentration is very low compared to what we are used to on earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra

    On a side note, I am a believer that our oceans continue to rise due to the amount of hydrogen the earth collects. We also used to have a greater oxygen content which I believe allowed dinosaurs to walk the earth. Otherwise, how do you explain mass being a cube function when strength is a square function for such large creatures?
    This part I would tend to agree with, but you can get that just by allowing the polar ice caps to thaw. If temperatures were warmer the air would be more humid, which would make it a bit denser. Also, if I'm not mistaken, CO2 is more dense than O2, if only a little bit, and we know a lot of CO2 that later became oil probably comes from the Dinosaur era.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    It is feasible that the 40 day and night flood in Genesis was caused by such an event. Granted, that's a stretch, but is it impossible?
    Yes.
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