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Re: Water on the Moon

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:44 am
by Darth Kevin
I see there have been some changes here in the last few days! I like the new look with the stars etc. I get a problem when I use the search function, though, as the posts it returned seem to be blank even when I know there is text in them.

Non Sum wrote:NASA said it would be "days" before the crash results could be determined, but it's beginning to look like 'weeks.'

Here's the story from the NASA website.

It has a picture they say is of the plume - though you might think it was just a smear on the lens... The caption claims the plume was about 6-8km wide just 15 seconds after the crash, which sounds amazing to me. Nobody else seems to have seen it - I read on another report (can't find where) that it didn't go high enough to catch teh sunlight so earth-based observers had no chance of seeing it and it could only be photographed from the orbiter.

Just saw that that story has a link at the bottom to a page with lots more images of the impact.

Poor Moon. Or should I say "Luna". Is there a forum policy on this? :lol:

Re: Water on the Moon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:14 am
by RickLewis
It seems that NASA held a press conference earlier today (13th Nov 09) to announce the results of the LCROSS data analysis. And they say there WAS water in the plume sent up by the impact.

This was the story reported on the Wiki article about the mission:

Water was found in the ejecta plume. "We are ecstatic," said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact. The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water." [23]
The impact was not as visually prominent as had been anticipated. Due to data bandwidth issues, the exposures were kept short, which made the plume difficult to see in the images. The lighting was not sufficient to show the plume in the short exposures necessitated by the bandwith. This resulted in the need for image processing to increase clarity.[24]

Apparently the second paragraph is based on comments made at the press conference. The first para comes from NASA's own website report posted today: ... sults.html

LCROSS Impact Data Indicates Water on Moon11.13.09

The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after impact.
Credit: NASA
Click image for full resolution.

Data from the down-looking near-infrared spectrometer. The red curve shows how the spectra would look for a "grey" or "colorless" warm (230 C) dust cloud. The yellow areas indicate the water absorption bands.
Credit: NASA
Click image for full resolution.

Data from the ultraviolet/visible spectrometer taken shortly after impact showing emission lines (indicated by arrows). These emission lines are diagnostic of compounds in the vapor/debris cloud.
Credit: NASA
Click image for full resolution.

Click here for more images of the results.

The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water.

Secrets the moon has been holding, for perhaps billions of years, are now being revealed to the delight of scientists and space enthusiasts alike.

NASA today opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon. Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon’s south pole.

The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material. This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

(That's just the start of quite a long and interesting report there)
So the NASA finding confirm the very recent discovery by the Indian space probe. It's official. There IS water on the Moon!