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posted by martyb on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the water-water-everywhere dept.

A study using data collected by the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter has found evidence of elevated water content in some pyroclastic deposits on the Moon:

The inside of the moon is wetter than previously thought, research suggests, opening up fresh possibilities for manned missions to the lunar landscape.

While the moon was once thought to be bone-dry, in recent years water has been found trapped in lunar volcanic glasses – material formed from magma ejected from the moon's interior. But it has remained a topic of debate just how wet the lunar innards are, with some arguing that the water content of lunar samples may not be representative of the majority of the moon's mantle – the layer beneath the crust.

Now researchers say a new analysis of satellite data has unpicked the puzzle, revealing "hotspots" of trapped water right across the moon's surface in deposits from ancient eruptions. "The lunar mantle is wetter than our previous thoughts [suggested]," said Shuai Li, co-author of the study from Brown University.

Also at Brown University, National Geographic, NPR, The Verge, and Space.com.

Remote detection of widespread indigenous water in lunar pyroclastic deposits (DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2993) (DX) (supplemental)

Here we demonstrate that, for a number of lunar pyroclastic deposits, near-infrared reflectance spectra acquired by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument onboard the Chandrayaan-1 orbiter exhibit absorptions consistent with enhanced OH- and/or H2O-bearing materials. These enhancements suggest a widespread occurrence of water in pyroclastic materials sourced from the deep lunar interior, and thus an indigenous origin. Water abundances of up to 150 ppm are estimated for large pyroclastic deposits, with localized values of about 300 to 400 ppm at potential vent areas. Enhanced water content associated with lunar pyroclastic deposits and the large areal extent, widespread distribution and variable chemistry of these deposits on the lunar surface are consistent with significant water in the bulk lunar mantle. We therefore suggest that water-bearing volcanic glasses from Apollo landing sites are not anomalous, and volatile loss during pyroclastic eruptions may represent a significant pathway for the transport of water to the lunar surface.


Original Submission

Related Stories

India's Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission Planned for 2018 6 comments

India plans to put another orbiter around the Moon and land a rover for just $93 million (including launch costs):

In a large shed near the headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore, a six-wheeled rover rumbles over dark grey rubble in a landscape designed to mimic the Moon's rocky surface. This test and others scheduled for the next few weeks are crucial steps in India's quest to launch a second mission to the Moon next March.

The country's much anticipated Chandrayaan-2 comes almost a decade after India began its first journey to the Moon, in 2008. "It is logically an extension of the Chandrayaan-1 mission," says Mylswamy Annadurai, director of the project at ISRO. The spacecraft comprises an orbiter that will travel around the Moon, a lander that will touch down in a as-yet undecided location near the Moon's south pole and a rover.

India's maiden Moon trip was a significant achievement for its space programme, but ended prematurely when ISRO lost contact with the orbiter ten months into the planned two-year mission. However, an instrument on a probe that reached the Moon's surface did gather enough data for scientists to confirm the presence of traces of water.

[...] ISRO plans to execute its mission on shoestring budget of just 6.03 billion rupees (US$93 million), including the cost of the rocket and launch. Chandrayaan-2 will be carried into space on one of the agency's three-stage rockets, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II, taking off from a spaceport on the island of Sriharikota in the Bay of Bengal. "A nice part of the Indian space programme is that they manage to do things so cheaply," says ANU astrobiologist Charles Lineweaver. "If it succeeds, maybe everyone else will see that their mission didn't really need that extra bell or whistle."

The launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

Chandrayaan program.

Previously: Moon Wetter Than Previously Thought


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:13PM (10 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:13PM (#544206) Journal

    In fact we're soaking in it

    --
    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:30PM (7 children)

      by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:30PM (#544214) Journal

      Sure there's lots of H2O, but is there any oxygen?
      ;)

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:51PM (5 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:51PM (#544227) Journal

        Hmmm … how does H2O differ from the more conventional H2O? ;-)

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Justin Case on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:54PM (1 child)

          by Justin Case (4239) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:54PM (#544229) Journal

          Easy. H2O is up there while H2O is down here.

          Also, drinking it will get you high. To the moon, potheads!

          • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday July 25 2017, @06:13PM

            by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @06:13PM (#544261) Journal

            To the moon, potheads!

            Already there bro... 🌳🔥👌☁🚀🌜

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:01PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:01PM (#544235)

          Instead of two hydrogens, it has only one, but shaped like a square.

        • (Score: 2) by Taibhsear on Wednesday July 26 2017, @03:33PM

          by Taibhsear (1464) on Wednesday July 26 2017, @03:33PM (#544678)

          Maybe it's a typo and they meant ²H₂O? (deuterium oxide)
          Or maybe H¹²O‎⁻ (unstable superlight hydroxyl ion), H²O‎⁻ won't even form.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27 2017, @01:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27 2017, @01:31PM (#545161)

          It's a matter of the former containing square hydrogen atoms. If you've ever wondered how someone can simply be SUCH a square, chances are, they've been drinking that stuff.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday July 26 2017, @05:54AM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday July 26 2017, @05:54AM (#544499) Journal

        Why yes, oxygen is released when two water molecules fuse into helium. Stars are made out of water, not 'simple' hydrogen, you know.

        Whaddya think? Can I get it published [soylentnews.org]?

        --
        La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26 2017, @12:58AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26 2017, @12:58AM (#544401)

      Is that you, Thales of Miletus?

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday July 26 2017, @06:08AM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday July 26 2017, @06:08AM (#544505) Journal

        Oh jeeze! I swear I made the above comment before I looked that guy up.

        --
        La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:15PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:15PM (#544207) Journal

    Didn't some of the Apollo moon landings touch down in the wettest spots?

    The Sea of Tranquility

    The Ocean of Storms

    --
    People who think Republicans wouldn't dare destroy Social Security or Medicare should ask women about Roe v Wade.
    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:29PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:29PM (#544213) Journal

      Or the mainly foggy
      Mister of Bean

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Justin Case on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:18PM (1 child)

    by Justin Case (4239) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:18PM (#544210) Journal

    Oh c'mon, you posted this story just to annoy that "than previously thought" soylentil. Admit it.

  • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:01PM (2 children)

    by Sulla (5173) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:01PM (#544236) Journal

    Could we mine this, pack it into some sort of disintegrating bubble, and fire it at the atmosphere? OH- is useful in breaking down CO2.

    --
    Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:10PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:10PM (#544241)

      Pretty sure it would be easier to transition away from oil and gas. Cheaper too since you supposedly care about good financial planning.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Sulla on Tuesday July 25 2017, @06:03PM

        by Sulla (5173) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @06:03PM (#544258) Journal

        I just want to leave a really convoluted story for our ancestors (if there are any)

        - So why did the people of the 21st century ship OH- from the moon?
        - Too much CO2 on Earth
        - Why not use less fossil fuels?
        - Because that would mean the terrorists won
        - But it was harder
        - "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard"

        --
        Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:14PM (2 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:14PM (#544243) Journal

    Is this trace amounts (150 ppm) of water at depth or hints on solid deposits deeper down?

    150 ppm is less than Earthly Uranium deposits.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday July 26 2017, @01:28AM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) on Wednesday July 26 2017, @01:28AM (#544410) Journal

      It might be just that fraction that soaked in after The Big Splash.

      Don't laugh, that guy had his hands in more payloads on more Nasa missions than anyone else at the time.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
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