Water on the Moon

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Post Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:40 am

Water on the Moon

I reckon the discovery of water on our moon by an Indian space probe a couple of weeks ago is the main space news of the year. Maybe the decade.

It's not just a few patches of ice at the bottom of a crater or two. They claim to have found that particles of moondust generally have a very thin coating of water, and the water is probably made continuously by an interaction between sunlight (?) and lunar soil. If this is right, then there's enough water on the moon to keep permanent bases supplied and maybe (???) to make oxygen, rocket fuel etc. In which case moon bases look a lot easier and also the moon could be useful for travel onward to other planets.

Sorry no link but it was all over the media.
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Post Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:36 pm

Re: Water on the Moon

Hello? Anybody home?
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Post Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Water on the Moon

Yes, I'm here. Been busy with Philosophy Now (the mag I edit) so I haven't been posting here at all.

There have been quite a few a space-related news stories in the last few weeks, but this one about water on the Moon certainly seems the most momentous!

There was also the recent deliberate crash of a space probe into the lunar surface. I thought that part of the point of that was to throw up a big cloud of dust which could be spectroscopically analysed. I haven't heard any more about that since the initial story about the crash. Have you?
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Post Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Water on the Moon

No not a lot. Here's a link to a video of the crash, but you can't see anything worth mentioning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF0ULOWbJsA

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Post Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:32 am

Re: Water on the Moon

NASA said it would be "days" before the crash results could be determined, but it's beginning to look like 'weeks.' I'd say that it appears they hit a dry hole. It happens here on Earth, so why not there on Moon too? All my neighbors have wells at about 100 feet. I thought I'd get the jump on them, and hired a "water witch" for my "crash site." I'm now the impoverished owner of a 425 foot well...oh well. Maybe, NASA used my water witch. :?

BTW: Shouldn't the moon have an actual name? Won't it be confusing when we interact with other moons, who do have names? We don't call our planet, "Planet." The sun is named "Sol," no?

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Post Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:10 am

Re: Water on the Moon

The moon does have a name: "Luna".

Earth = "Terra".

Sun = "Sol".
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Post Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: Water on the Moon

Non Sum wrote:NASA said it would be "days" before the crash results could be determined, but it's beginning to look like 'weeks.' I'd say that it appears they hit a dry hole. It happens here on Earth, so why not there on Moon too? All my neighbors have wells at about 100 feet. I thought I'd get the jump on them, and hired a "water witch" for my "crash site." I'm now the impoverished owner of a 425 foot well...oh well. Maybe, NASA used my water witch. :?

Hello Non Sum - nice to see you here! I had no idea you lived anywhere so arid. I think your water witch has a lot to answer for - that must have been a pretty expensive project. (I mean the NASA project, not your well. Though on second thoughts that must have been expensive too!)

Non Sum wrote:BTW: Shouldn't the moon have an actual name? Won't it be confusing when we interact with other moons, who do have names? We don't call our planet, "Planet." The sun is named "Sol," no?

The other day, my son (age 3) was watching a DVD of "The Bear in the Big Blue House". The Bear was talking to his friend The Moon, and said "I know there's nobody else like you." My son piped up: "That's not true! Mars has two moons." It took us by surprise as we didn't even realize he knew that. However, on reflection he was suffering from exactly the same confusion that you are describing. Of course our Moon is unique, just as Phobos and Deimos are also unique. I suppose the fact we call it The Moon distinguishes it from other moons, but that is pretty confusing.

Maybe we should call it Luna, though that sounds artificial somehow.

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Post Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:21 am

Re: Water on the Moon

Hi,
Realunoriginal: The moon does have a name: "Luna".
Earth = "Terra".
Sun = "Sol".

NS: Odd, I always took "le Luna" to be how Spanish speakers said MY name. :?

I don't agree regarding, "Terra." My dictionary doesn't give it as a proper name, but only as "terra firma," dry land, dirt, etc. Whereas, it does have a capitalized ''E'arth' indicating a proper name for the 3rd planet.


Hi,
Rick: - nice to see you here! I had no idea you lived anywhere so arid.

NS: Thank you. Nice of you to decorate the site overnight in my honor. I like what you've done with the place, but it is hardly necessary, as I've long been a space junky -- dating back to a pre-adolescent fascination with sci fi. I credit my interest in philosophy, and sociology, to the questiions that sci fi raises.

Plenty of lakes, and rivers, in my locale. But, the aquafer, like the rugged terrain above it, is uneven in depth. This may be a similar circumstance on La Luna.

A three year old who is aware of Mar's two moons, AND knows their names, is nothing short of amazing! I am sure that I would not have known any of it until I was three times his age. I doubt my daughter knew Mars even had moons when in her forties. It must be a kick to have such a bright kid. Get him started on my launcher problem, would yuh.

Even if water is discovered on the moon, I don't care for the idea of using it for off-Luna travel. I think that idea is too wasteful, and only indicates a 'water-planet mentality.' We should use this Luna-scarce resource resourcefully. Which to me means sticking to the recyclable uses of agriculture, and personal use.

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Post Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:28 am

Re: Water on the Moon

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=terrain

1727, "ground for training horses," from Fr. terrain "piece of earth, ground, land," from O.Fr. (12c.), from V.L. *terranum, from L. terrenum "land, ground," from neut. of terrenus "of earth, earthly," from terra "earth, land," lit. "dry land" (as opposed to "sea"); from PIE base *ters- "to dry" (cf. Skt. tarsayati "dries up," Avestan tarshu- "dry, solid," Gk. teresesthai "to become or be dry," L. torrere "dry up, parch," Goth. þaursus "dry, barren," O.H.G. thurri, Ger. dürr, O.E. þyrre "dry;" O.E. þurstig "thirsty"). Meaning "tract of country, considered with regard to its natural features" first attested 1766.



http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=lunar

"of or pertaining to the moon," 1626, from O.Fr. lunaire, from L. lunaris "of the moon," from luna "moon," (with capital L-) "moon goddess," from *leuksna- (cf. O.C.S. luna "moon," O.Pruss. lauxnos "stars," M.Ir. luan "light, moon"), from the same source as lux, lumen "light." The luna moth (1884) so called for the crescent-shaped markings on its wings.



http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Sol

"the sun," c.1450, from L. sol "the sun," from PIE *s(e)wol-, from base *saewel- "to shine, the sun" (cf. Skt. suryah, Avestan hvar "sun, light, heavens;" Gk. helios; Lith. saule; O.C.S. slunice; Goth. sauil, O.E. sol "sun," swegl "sky, heavens, the sun;" Welsh haul, O.Cornish heuul, Breton heol "sun;" O.Ir. suil "eye"). The PIE element -*el- in the root originally was a suffix and had an alternative form -*en-, yielding *s(u)wen-, source of Eng. sun (q.v.).

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Post Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Water on the Moon

Hello, Realunoriginal,
My take on your above citations is that of confirming "terra" as Not being a proper name for a god, nor the 3rd planet, no? But, the dictionary does have "Earth/earth," which seems to indicate that this is both a word like "terra," and has a proper name usage as well.

As regards, "Luna & Sol," these two are at least the proper names of Roman gods, not unlike "Jupiter, Mars, et al." So, based on that similar nameing convention, it is probably safe to assume that "Luna & Sol" are also proper names for their respective orbs.
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