On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite
) and its rocket's Centaur
upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A
, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper)
, selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact
, a facebook group
, and a Twitter feed
so you don't miss the moment.
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 8, 2009 -
In the early 1980s, Roni Horn
travelled to Iceland and lived alone for a few months in the (supposedly haunted
) lighthouse at Dyrhólaey. While there, she made rocky, earthy drawings. They formed the first volume of a currently incomplete, abstract encyclopedia of the country
[flash navigation] which has now progressed to include beautiful photographs of hot pools
, glaciers, lava and rivers. A river's surface has appeared in different guises within a university. She has even made a library of water
in a little
Icelandic town. However, those currently in or near London can visit an exhibition
in Tate Modern. [more inside]
posted by paperpete
on Apr 4, 2009 -
"We have water
," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA
. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month
, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite
on Aug 1, 2008 -
If you were doing research in the 60s, You might've heard of Polywater,
A form of water that exhibited wide variety of interesting characteristics and existed under identical conditions to that of normal water. Eventually debunked, none the less is a fascinating story. Naturally one draws parallels to Vonnegut's ice nine, but did you know there actually is an ice nine?
In fact, there's twelve to sixteen types of ice
, depending on your opinion.
More recently, computer simulations have indicated water may structure itself into icosahedra
, which, incredibly, is the platonic solid (described over 2000 years ago!) representing the element water!
And if you don't know what an icosahedron is, I bet you've used one before
. One of the most ubiquitous, and arguably most important,
substances in our lives, our understanding of water
is far from complete.
posted by Large Marge
on Apr 29, 2008 -
"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta
and expand our water toolbox
so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
posted by salvia
on Sep 16, 2007 -
Here are some ways
to shrink your unnatural water- and gas-guzzling lawn and plant something that is beautiful and requires no
water usage, no mowing, and is more likely to attract more interesting wildlife. With this much lawn
in the U.S., and incessant water shortages
, and other water issues
in our present and looming in the future, why not go native? Naturally, there are objections
, since local ordinances often don't allow for natural prairie lawns, and the neighborhood stick-up-butt committees are quick to remove
things they consider eyesores. What is your lawn worth to you?
posted by taursir
on Sep 9, 2007 -