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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Has Finally Reached Mars

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Has Finally Reached Mars

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) After a 10-month voyage through space, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is now orbiting the Red Planet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

AFP (Sep. 21, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship blasts off toward the International Space Station, carrying a load of supplies and science experiments for the astronauts living there. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's MAVEN To Study Martian Atmosphere

NASA's MAVEN To Study Martian Atmosphere

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) NASA's Maven will soon give information that could explain what happened to Mars' atmosphere. Video provided by Newsy
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