Water, water, everywhere?

Astronomers are always keen to identify signs of water on exo-planets. And it turns out that, at least in our local neighbourhood, it’s everywhere! We knew about Mars, where even more evidence has been detected by Nasa, and about the Saturn moon Enceladus. Now we have confirmation of wide-spread water on the surface of the Moon – related Nasa press release [videos below the fold]. That should make LCROSS’ lunar impact interesting. And here’s an interesting hypothesus

Scientists suspect the water is created in the soil in an interaction with the solar wind, the fast-moving stream of particles that constantly billows away from the Sun. Harsh space radiation triggers a chemical reaction in which oxygen atoms already in the soil acquire hydrogen nuclei to make water molecules and the simpler hydrogen-oxygen (OH) molecule. The amounts are small, say researchers, but boost the notion that astronauts based on the Moon could use it as a resource.

Here’s a JPL News video on the Martian ice.

And from NASAtelevision, a Nasa press conference where participants discuss new science data from the moon collected during national and international space missions.

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  • joeCanuck

    I’m ever more convinced that there is life all over the universe. I only regret that I am unlikely to be around when some of it is discovered. It’s incredible to believe that there are probably “intelligent” creatures elsewhere. I’d love to meet them.

    Submit word is “nations”.

  • Lizard

    No offence meant but you I feel you won’t meet them here.

  • joeCanuck

    Nope, Lizard.
    Check out this for proof:

  • Greenflag

    Joe Canuck ,

    ‘It’s incredible to believe that there are probably “intelligent” creatures elsewhere.’

    Well we know this ‘universe ‘ is approx 13 billion years old and that the Earth is 4.3 billion years old . We know it’s taken 4.15 billion years to get from green algae and amoeba to homo sapiens and it’s only in the past couple of centuries that humanity has grasped the enormity of the universe of which he is an insignificant part . We owe our fortuitous existence to a series of happy accidents .

    The trace elements which help to make up our physical bodies were only created some 2 billion years after the singularity expanded . We may be the only ‘intelligence ‘ (if you want to call it that ) in this universe even though the universe may harbour microbial life and bacteria . What will be interesting is that if life is found will it’s DNA conform to similar life forms on Earth or would it be something totally different ?

    I think if we can get that far this century we’ll be doing well.

    ‘I’d love to meet them.’

    Um not so sure . It could be like a medieval peasant meeting a high tech wielding 21st century geek or australopithecus africanus meeting modern man . There could be a major failure to communicate .

    Intelligence on alien worlds may not be directly correlated with our human concept of morality 😉 They may find you ‘taste ‘ good when broiled ? or when caged will attract more visitor’s to Planet Zog’s zoos 😉

    How have we ‘intelligent ‘ peoples of the west behaved towards our fellow humans who were seen to be less advanced than ourselves? Did we share our knowledge willingly or did we enslave , exploit and steal their countries from under their noses ? And the rich countries still exploit the poorer when they can get away it and the same applies within countries .

    Haven’t set a great example have we ;)?