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 -
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 -
Scientists have discovered a planet composed of scorching hot ice
. Originally thought to be a gas giant due to its mass, its actually only four times the size of Earth and most likely composed of exotic forms of ice, such as Ice VII and Ice X
with s surface temperature of 300° C.
posted by Artw
on May 16, 2007 -