"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460

Water on the moon?

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Water on the moon?

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Post by Patush » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:56 am

By John Johnson Jr.
Los Angeles Times
Posted: 09/23/2009 06:13:35 PM PDT
Updated: 09/23/2009 08:41:20 PM PDT

Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that water exists on the moon, a discovery that helps complete a picture of a water-rich solar system and could make colonizing Earth's nearest neighbor much easier than previously thought.
Using data from three spacecraft that have made close flybys of the moon in recent years, research teams in the United States have found proof that a thin film of water coats the surface of the soil in at least some places on the moon.
"Within the context of lunar science, this is a major discovery," said Paul Lucey, a planetary scientist with the University of Hawaii, who was not involved in the current research. "There was zero accepted evidence that there was any water at the lunar surface, (but) now it is shown to be easily detectable, though by extremely sensitive methods. As a lunar scientist, when I read about this I was completely blown away."
The discovery "will forever change how we look at the moon," said Roger Clark, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver and author of one of three papers, each dealing with data from a different spacecraft, appearing in this week's Science magazine.
For decades, the moon had been considered by scientists to be a dead and uninteresting world. The Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s brought back some rocks that contained tiny amounts of trapped water, but scientists at the time decided they had been contaminated by water from Earth.
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Proponents of human space travel hope this new discovery will put pressure on the White House to follow through with Bush administration plans to return to the moon by 2020 and to construct Earth's first off-world colony there.
At the very least, the discovery lends weight to a new view of a friendlier solar system, where water, the lifeblood of biology on Earth, suddenly seems to be everywhere.
Last year's Phoenix mission to Mars' polar region found ice. Ice also has been found on Saturn's moon Titan, and it covers Jupiter's moon Europa.
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Large quantities of water found on the Moon

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Post by Patush » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:57 pm

Large quantities of water have been found on the Moon during India's first lunar mission, it has been disclosed.
Data from the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft also suggests water is still being formed on its surface.
It is believed that the water is concentrated at the poles and possibly formed by the solar wind.
The finding was made after researchers examined data from three separate missions to the moon.
The reports, to be published in the journal Science on Friday, show that the water may be moving around, forming and reforming as particles become mixed up in the dust on the surface of the moon.
Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, the mission’s project director at the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bangalore, told The Times: “It’s very satisfying.
“This was one of the main objectives of Chandrayaan-1, to find evidence of water on the Moon.”
The unmanned craft was equipped with Nasa’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, designed specifically to search for water by picking up the electromagnetic radiation emitted by minerals.
The M3, an imaging spectrometer, was designed to search for water by detecting the electromagnetic radiation given off by different minerals on and just below the surface of the Moon.
Unlike previous lunar spectrometers, it was sensitive enough to detect the presence of small amounts of water.
M3 was one of two Nasa instruments among 11 pieces of equipment from around the world on Chandrayaan-1, which was launched into orbit around the Moon in October last year.
Carle Pieters of Brown University in Rhode Island and colleagues reviewed data from Chandrayaan-1 and found spectrographic evidence of water. The water seems thicker closer to the poles, they reported.
"When we say 'water on the moon,' we are not talking about lakes, oceans or even puddles. Water on the moon means molecules of water and hydroxyl (hydrogen and oxygen) that interact with molecules of rock and dust specifically in the top millimetres of the moon's surface," Pieters said in a statement.
Scientists said the breakthrough would change the face of lunar exploration.
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Moon 'has a litre of water for every tonne of soil'

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Post by Patush » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:33 am

The Moon’s surface holds as much as a litre of water in every tonne of lunar soil, according to new research.

Observations taken independently by three different spacecraft, including India’s first lunar mission, have detected the chemical signature of both water and a closely related molecule called hydroxyl all over the Moon’s surface.

The Chandrayaan-1, Deep Impact and Cassini probes all found that infrared light was absorbed on the Moon at wavelengths consistent with the presence of water or hydroxyl — a similar molecule that has one hydrogen atom where water has two. Variations in the infrared signal suggest that both are present, scientists behind the discovery said.

The results, which are published in three papers in the journal Science, overturn a long-standing consensus that the Moon is completely dry. The data do not suggest, however, that there is much water there — or that any of it is liquid or even ice.

The water and hydroxyl molecules are instead bound up in minerals at the surface, which would still appear exceptionally dry by terrestrial standards.

“It is drier than any desert we have here,” said Jessica Sunshine, of the University of Maryland, who worked on both the Chandrayaan-1 and Deep Impact measurements. “It’s sort of just sticking on the surface.”

Carle Pieters, of Brown University, who led the Chandrayaan-1 observation team, said: “When we say ‘water on the moon’, we are not talking about lakes, oceans or even puddles. Water on the moon means molecules of water and hydroxyl that interact with molecules of rock and dust specifically in the top millimetres of the moon’s surface.”

It would take about 730 square metres of dirt to produce a single drink of water, she said.

Larry Taylor, of the University of Tennessee, who also worked on the Chandrayaan-1 data, said the trace quantities of water amounted to about a quart (about a litre) for every tonne of lunar soil.

Some of this lunar water may have reached the Moon on comets, but much of it may actually have been generated on the Moon itself by interactions between its silicate rocks and the solar wind — a stream of particles generated from the Sun that includes positively-charged hydrogen atoms.

As the Moon lacks an atmosphere and magnetic field like the Earth’s to protect it from the solar wind, its rocks are under constant bombardment. When these hydrogen atoms strike lunar rocks, they may be breaking chemical bonds and freeing oxygen atoms to combine with hydrogen to make water and hydroxyl.

The discovery has fanned dreams of establishing a manned Moon base.

Scientists have long hoped that astronauts could be based on the Moon and use water found there to drink, extract oxygen to breathe and use hydrogen as fuel.

Several studies have suggested that there could be ice in the craters around the Moon’s poles, but scientists have been unable to confirm the suspicions.

Big bang

• The Moon is 4.6 billion years old, about the same age as the Earth

• It is thought to have formed from a giant dust cloud caused when a rogue planet collided with the Earth

• It is 238,000 miles from the Earth

• Gravity on the Moon is a sixth of that on Earth

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/s ... 847457.ece
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