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Full Version: Lots of Water on the Moon : Surprise, Surprise !
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I want to apologize, but I accidentally deleted the original thread. The thread was completely full of double posts, and I was eliminating all the duplicates. Unfortunately, I deleted the first of my posts, instead of the copy, and the entire thread disappeared. Sigh, I'm sorry.

However, there is more news here. There is even more water on the moon than previously thought, if that is believable. I'm talking about an amount that is equal to what is stored underground on earth. WOW!!

Abstract from position paper

The Moon has long been thought to be highly depleted in volatiles such as water, and indeed published direct measurements of water in lunar volcanic glasses have never exceeded 50 parts per million (ppm). Here, we report in situ measurements of water in lunar melt inclusions; these samples of primitive lunar magma, by virtue of being trapped within olivine crystals prior to volcanic eruption, did not experience post-eruptive degassing. The lunar melt inclusions contain 615 to 1410 ppm water, and high correlated amounts of fluorine (50 to 78 ppm), sulfur (612 to 877 ppm) and chlorine (1.5 to 3.0 ppm). These volatile contents are very similar to primitive terrestrial mid-ocean ridge basalts and indicate that some parts of the lunar interior contain as much water as Earth's upper mantle.


[Image: xlarge_moonrules.jpg]

Quote:The Moon may have the same proportion of water as Earth does

Today, a group of scientists announced that beneath the surface of the Moon there may be as much water as we have on Earth. This revelation could change everything we know about the Moon — and pave the way for lunar colonies in the next twenty years.

The researchers used a special ion probe to analyze samples of volcanic glass dug up from the Moon's surface by the crew of Apollo 17. Water and other volatiles from deep beneath the Moon's surface remain preserved in this glass, and allowed the team of scientists to determine likely water levels in the Moon's mantle. Those levels were 100 times higher than what previous studies found.

If this study holds up, Moon only has as much water as Earth does in a proportional sense - not as much total water, but as much water as the Earth would have in its mantle if it were the same size as the Moon.

In a statement, Case Western Reserve University geologist James Van Orman said:

Quote:In contrast to most volcanic deposits, the melt inclusions are encased in crystals that prevent the escape of water and other volatiles during eruption. These samples provide the best window we have to the amount of water in the interior of the Moon.

Added Brown professor Alberto Saal, another geologist who worked on the study:

Quote:The bottom line is that in 2008, we said the primitive water content in the lunar magmas should be similar to the water content in lavas coming from the Earth's depleted upper mantle. Now, we have proven that is indeed the case.

Writing in Science, the team asserted:

Quote:These volatile contents are very similar to primitive terrestrial mid-ocean ridge basalts and indicate that some parts of the lunar interior contain as much water as Earth's upper mantle.

In other words, we're seeing — at least in this chunk of volcanic glass — something that looks very similar to what we'd expect on Earth. This could change our understanding of how the Moon was formed. Generally it's believed that the Moon broke off from Earth when our planet was hit by a Mars-sized body. But an impact like that wouldn't have left much water behind. Is it possible the Moon was formed in some other way? That's a subject for further research, but the research team notes two possibilities: one, at some point Earth and the Moon may have shared the same "atmospheric envelope;" or two, the sample that the team analyzed might be aberrant and not indicative of a watery mantle all over the Moon.

These findings also shed light on the icy deposits that probes recently found deep in the shadows of Moon craters. Until now, scientists mostly believed that water came from icy meteors smashing into Luna and leaving water behind. Now it seems that this water probably originated on the Moon, and was brought to the surface by magma in volcanic eruptions.

So how will all of this affect our plans for a lunar colony? Obviously, if the mantle is as water-rich as this new research suggests, we'll have a better chance of generating water and oxygen on the Moon for our habitats. Plus, If lunar water is associated with volcanic activity, then that makes NASA's idea to build a lunar colony in one of the Moon's giant magma holes even more attractive.
(05-31-2011, 07:08 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]I want to apologize, but I accidentally deleted the original thread.

That explains things as I was attempting a Reply and the thread was gone!

Anyway, with all that water on the moon, I can now see why folks would be seriously thinking about lunar colonies.

Plenty of Solar power on the sun side, too.
(05-31-2011, 07:15 PM)JohnWho Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-31-2011, 07:08 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]I want to apologize, but I accidentally deleted the original thread.

That explains things as I was attempting a Reply and the thread was gone!

Anyway, with all that water on the moon, I can now see why folks would be seriously thinking about lunar colonies.

Plenty of Solar power on the sun side, too.

And just think of all the fuel available for ships traveling into the outer reaches of the solar system?

(05-31-2011, 07:38 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]And just think of all the fuel available for ships traveling into the outer reaches of the solar system?

And, to help stimulate the plant growth as we colonize, Earth can send them our excess CO2!

Dang - Winning!
and there must be huge deposits of abiotic oil.
Thank you for the 'bump' "Q". We can always count on you there. S13
NASA just launched two lunar probes, designed to probe what is under the surface of the satellite: NASA Launches Twin Spacecraft to Probe Inside the Moon. It's not mentioned in the article, but somehow I suspect the abundance of water and perhaps underground caverns, may be of primary concern. The more water present, the better humans can survive there. And if there are considerable caverns underground, setting up shot there will also be easier.
Somali poeple would make perfect astronaut in case of low water levels. They are also acustomed to the landscape.
Well, there is a huge amount of Li and Si in the Earth's rocks, but they are not commercially viable for extraction and use. If much of the Moon's water is tied up as a component of rock material, that would pose a considerable challenge to extraction.

The only positive I can see is that the environmentalist will have no beef if the sunny side of the moon is heavily populated with solar cells since there are no lizards, cacti and spiders to protect. Humans would have to live underground to avoid radiation damage.

One downside is the problem of getting enough materials to the moon to build a colony. The world cannot even afford to build and supply a space station as we have recently seen. Current rockets are at their chemical limit (according to my JPL contact), so heavy lift is inordinately expensive.
That's why the space elevator is the only real viable alternative to getting into space.
If we built a space elevator, it would be very inviting to some to try to cut the tether. Every malcontent and terrorist in the world would be cooking up schemes to do so.
(09-16-2011, 04:48 PM)jt Wrote: [ -> ]If we built a space elevator, it would be very inviting to some to try to cut the tether. Every malcontent and terrorist in the world would be cooking up schemes to do so.

I'm sure someone would want to do that. But carbon nano-tubes are self repairing in that they independently form bonds with new ones. Special bots would move up and down the carbon track/s and make automatic repairs to any damage created by debris, or human attempts at sabotage.

Also, a space elevator scenarios almost always shows one cable, but that is not realistic. In truth, there would be several at one place, for just such a thing. If one cable was broken, the others would hold together the elevator structure, to the point where they reached high orbit and became one huge cable. In the first place this would be for keeping space junk from destroying the system. But preventing terrorism would accomplish the same thing.

Yeah, John, space elevator. Build one! S1
I'd love to.