How can we find water
ON THE MOON?

Tamar Cohen
tamarmot@gmail.com
How was the Moon formed?
Young Earth was struck by a
huge asteroid, and debris from
this collision coalesced to form
the M...
IS THERE water on the moon?
It looks like a desert to me.
What does water look like?

It just does not look like that on the moon.
How about the atmosphere?
Lunar atmosphere:

I think you can leave your
umbrella at home.

Earth atmosphere:

What are clo...
How would YOU look for water on
the moon?
• The moon is far away,
238,900 miles.
• It has no air to breathe
• Since it has...
What about orbiting the moon?
•
•
•

We use the LRO, Lunar Reconnaisance Oribiter, to take detailed photos of
the surface ...
We do think there is water there.
The dark blue and purple areas at the
poles have neutron emissions* that
indicate hydrog...
Can we smash something into the
moon and look for water?
•

•

Totally! We did that in 2009. The mission was
called LCROSS...
Wait, WHAT?
•
•

We looked at the plume of debris that puffed up after we hit the moon.
We used
– visible cameras,
– ultra...
Light travels in waves

Infrared

http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/visible.html
How you detect elements with a
spectrometer
When groups of atoms (in the gas phase)
absorb energy, they emit energy as lig...
What about robots?
•
•

Robots don’t have to breathe, and you can attach all kinds of instruments to
them, cameras, drills...
We practice on Earth
• In the summer of 2012, we went to the crater in
Hawaii to practice looking for water.
• The “ground...
Artemis Jr Rover from Canadian Space Agency
Drilling
Ames Back Room

A lot of women are scientists! It’s a
super awesome job to have!
Ames Back Room
xGDS Plot – Drill Support
Drilling:
28cm – 50cm

Contact with ground
20120717-234806

Drilling:
50cm - 60cm

20120718-0021...
Build your own spectrometer
Remember, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN. You can become blind.
http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosm...
Credits
A bunch of images are from NASA’s websites.
Also from Northrup Grummon
Also from Paul Doherty
Also from NASA Ames ...
Find water on the moon, a presentation for 2nd and 3rd graders
Find water on the moon, a presentation for 2nd and 3rd graders
Find water on the moon, a presentation for 2nd and 3rd graders
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Find water on the moon, a presentation for 2nd and 3rd graders

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This is a little presentation I put together for a 2nd and 3rd grade class, about looking for water on the moon.

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Find water on the moon, a presentation for 2nd and 3rd graders

  1. 1. How can we find water ON THE MOON? Tamar Cohen tamarmot@gmail.com
  2. 2. How was the Moon formed? Young Earth was struck by a huge asteroid, and debris from this collision coalesced to form the Moon. The Moon was molten in its early stages, and the crust solidified from light magma that floated to the surface.
  3. 3. IS THERE water on the moon? It looks like a desert to me.
  4. 4. What does water look like? It just does not look like that on the moon.
  5. 5. How about the atmosphere? Lunar atmosphere: I think you can leave your umbrella at home. Earth atmosphere: What are clouds made of again?
  6. 6. How would YOU look for water on the moon? • The moon is far away, 238,900 miles. • It has no air to breathe • Since it has almost no atmosphere, it is very COLD or very HOT, hot = 253 F, cold= -243 F. (Water freezes at 32 F). • Water is H2O, that is 2 atoms of hydrogen bound to one atom of oxygen
  7. 7. What about orbiting the moon? • • • We use the LRO, Lunar Reconnaisance Oribiter, to take detailed photos of the surface of the moon. http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/spacecraft/index.html It takes pictures, measures neutron flux, and measures the heat on the moon. This can give us a better idea of where is a good place to explore the moon, because the moon is large, about ¼ the size of Earth. LRO
  8. 8. We do think there is water there. The dark blue and purple areas at the poles have neutron emissions* that indicate hydrogen-rich deposits covered by dry regolith*. This may indicate water in the form of ice or hydrated minerals. *Regolith is a layer of loose material covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials *Neutron emission is a type of radioactive decay of atoms with extra neutrons; the neutron is ejected from the nucleus. Finding natural resources, such as water ice, on the moon could help lunar exploration. A lunar outpost is a stepping stone to future exploration of other bodies in our solar system. The moon also offers many clues about when the planets were formed.
  9. 9. Can we smash something into the moon and look for water? • • Totally! We did that in 2009. The mission was called LCROSS. That stands for Lunar CRater Observation & Sensing Satellite. www.nasa.gov/lcross There is a good video here: http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/mission.htm LCROSS
  10. 10. Wait, WHAT? • • We looked at the plume of debris that puffed up after we hit the moon. We used – visible cameras, – ultraviolet cameras, – infrared cameras – thermal cameras – ultraviolet & visible spectrometer* *A spectrometer measures light and is used to identify materials. The moon is already covered with craters from giant asteroids that hit it.
  11. 11. Light travels in waves Infrared http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/visible.html
  12. 12. How you detect elements with a spectrometer When groups of atoms (in the gas phase) absorb energy, they emit energy as light with only certain wavelengths, in a line spectrum. If you analyze this light you can tell what elements are there. nm = 1 billionth of a meter; there are one billion nanometers in a meter. There are 10,000,000 (ten million) nanometers in a centimeter
  13. 13. What about robots? • • Robots don’t have to breathe, and you can attach all kinds of instruments to them, cameras, drills, spectrometers, thermometers, anything! We are working on a set of instruments and tools to look for water on the moon. My favorite rover, k10 K10’s cousin, kRex. http://irg.arc.nasa.gov is where I work.
  14. 14. We practice on Earth • In the summer of 2012, we went to the crater in Hawaii to practice looking for water. • The “ground” or “science back room” was where I work, at NASA Ames. This was where the scientists analyzed the images and information coming back from the robot and its instruments. • We worked with a Canadian rover called Artemis Jr. • It had cameras, a drill, an oven, and various spectrometers. • xGDS is a set of tools I work on in my group to help the scientists
  15. 15. Artemis Jr Rover from Canadian Space Agency
  16. 16. Drilling
  17. 17. Ames Back Room A lot of women are scientists! It’s a super awesome job to have!
  18. 18. Ames Back Room
  19. 19. xGDS Plot – Drill Support Drilling: 28cm – 50cm Contact with ground 20120717-234806 Drilling: 50cm - 60cm 20120718-002137 Drill Extraction 20120718-002207 Drill Depth Baseline Drill position at contact Water signal No water signal Water signal Band Depth Baseline
  20. 20. Build your own spectrometer Remember, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN. You can become blind. http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_games/spectra/makeGrating.htm http://www.exo.net/~pauld/activities/CDspectrometer/cdspectrometer.html
  21. 21. Credits A bunch of images are from NASA’s websites. Also from Northrup Grummon Also from Paul Doherty Also from NASA Ames IRG And from the Canadian Space Agency

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