Thursday, September 24, 2009

Real science: Water on moon?

Times Now, a TV news channel here, is reporting the NASA instrument aboard Chandrayaan-1 has found evidence of water.

Google News, however, is picking up conflicting reports: NASA about to officially make announcement today, ISRO chairman refusing to confirm the find, evidence of water moving around on moon, ...! Hopefully, next few weeks or months should clarify the picture.


Krishnan said...

Tinkoo, check this out

Tinkoo said...

Yes - there is a front page story in Indian Express/Bombay today that both NASA & ISRO have now confirmed the find.

Your link, however, is a bit too enthusiastic - in line with reports yesterday. It's not "large quantities of water"; it's trace amounts - about a liter per tonne of topsoil (1000 ppm), according to IE.

But it changes things in a fundamental way - even beyond the really important find that water exists naturally on moon.

1. I've seen some reports that say it's neither liquid, nor ice, nor steam; it's in a fourth unknown phase! If true, that changes school chemistry textbooks.

2. I've seen two speculations on where the moon is getting it's water from - from meteor impacts, or being synthesized via a previously unsuspected phenomenon where hydrogen in solar wind interacts with oxygen in lunar surface minerals. If it turns out to be later, that again changes school text books!