Space.com (November 13, 2009)
"It's official: There's water ice on the moon, and lots of it. When melted, the water could potentially be used to drink or to extract hydrogen for rocket fuel.
"NASA's LCROSS probe discovered beds of water ice at the lunar south pole when it impacted the moon last month, mission scientists announced today. The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way.
" 'Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn't find just a little bit, we found a significant amount,' Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif...."
Terms like "lots of it" and "significant" indicate that there's something important about how much water the LCROSS probe kicked up: but I like numbers. The article gives them:
"...Based on the measurements, the team estimated about 100 kilograms of water in the view of their instruments — the equivalent of about a dozen 2-gallon buckets — in the area of the impact crater (about 66 feet, or 20 meters across) and the ejecta blanket (about 60 to 80 meters across), Colaprete said.
" 'I'm pretty impressed by the amount of water we saw in our little 20-meter crater,' Colaprete said...."
I haven't read - and would be surprised if I did - that anybody's suggesting there may be life on the moon, based on the water ice that's been found. I do, however, think that this latest discovery of water in an unlikely spot suggests that the parts of the universe where life could exist are soggier than we thought.
Which suggests that the odds of finding alien life - microbial or otherwise - may not be such a long shot, after all.
- "Save the Moon from the American Military-Industrial Complex - You Can't Make This Up"
(November 7, 2009)
- "Water, Water Everywhere - Even on the Moon"
(September 24, 2009)