Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Scientists Make Case Against Ice On The Moon

Date:
July 27, 1999
Source:
Stanford University
Summary:
In the last few years, measurements made by two spacecraft -- Clementine and Lunar Prospector -- have been interpreted as evidence that large amounts of water ice are present in areas of deep shadow in the Moon's polar regions.

In the last few years, measurements made by two spacecraft -- Clementine and Lunar Prospector -- have been interpreted as evidence that large amounts of water ice are present in areas of deep shadow in the Moon's polar regions.

That interpretation has received widespread media coverage because the availability of ice would increase the feasibility of establishing a human base on the Moon by providing a ready source of water, oxygen and hydrogen. So far the evidence for lunar ice has been indirect. On July 31, however, NASA intends to crash the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into a south polar crater to produce a plume of material. Mission scientists claim that if the plume contains traces of water and hydroxyl ions it will prove the existence of lunar ice

Unfortunately, the crash will not be a definitive test, assert Von R. Eshleman, professor emeritus of electrical engineering, and George A. Parks, professor of geological and environmental sciences, in a letter that appears in the July 23 issue of the journal Science. Eshleman will elaborate on their reasoning in a special seminar on the Stanford campus at 3:15 p.m., July 22. The talk will place in Room 101 of the new Packard Electrical Engineering Building in the Science and Engineering Quad.

Eshleman and Parks argue that if ice ever did exist in the Moon's polar shadows, it may have reacted long ago with the dust that covers the lunar surface (a material that strongly resembles Portland cement) to form a substance that resembles the hydrous (water containing) minerals in concrete paste. The lunar dust is anhydrous (without water in any form), but is capable of absorbing large amounts of water and chemically incorporating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms into the mineral crystals.

The two researchers further argue that the presence of such a concrete paste provides a better explanation than does water ice for the observations of the two lunar satellites, the returns from Earth-based radar and the observations and experiments conducted during the Apollo program.

Finally, the two researchers predict that, if they are correct and the south polar crater is covered with concrete paste instead of water ice, the crash of the Lunar Prospector could melt the paste to produce a plume of water vapor and hydroxyl ions even though water was not previously present.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University. "Two Scientists Make Case Against Ice On The Moon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990727073510.htm>.
Stanford University. (1999, July 27). Two Scientists Make Case Against Ice On The Moon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990727073510.htm
Stanford University. "Two Scientists Make Case Against Ice On The Moon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990727073510.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins