August 9, 2020

The water of the Moon | Science

We were wondering last week if there is any limit to the "idealizations" that allow or facilitate the mathematical models applicable to physics or other sciences, and if they can mislead or distort our vision of reality. Of these idealizations, the gravitational singularities of black holes are surely those that have raised the most controversies, both epistemological and philosophical. Let's see what our “outstanding user” Raúl Krunsewsky thinks about it:

“Singularity is an aberration, logical and physical. This is how cosmology goes, tumbling. 10 ^ 99999999999 is still far from infinity, however in the Universe there is no magnitude that reaches 10 ^ 999, not even the number of elementary particles. The primordial particle of Lemaitre, of infinite density, is a logical nonsense, let alone its supposed ex nihilo origin from the vibration of the quantum vacuum. Pure spontaneous generation. All this is to pay homage to mathematics (which were not made for such applications) by renouncing the most elementary logic. The map and the territory and the elementary particles, in the middle of Houellebecq. It means, pure literature. ”

No comments (for my part; but it would be interesting to open a debate about it among the readers).

Mineral water

The water of the moon

Returning to the Moon (we must return to it), exactly one year ago, in August 2018, it was confirmed what was suspected – and expected – for a long time: there is water on our satellite, and probably a lot. No liquid water, obviously, because in sunny areas it would evaporate immediately, sunlight would decompose it and hydrogen would be lost in space. But in some craters near the poles, where sunlight never reaches and the temperature does not rise from -150º Celsius, there are hundreds of millions of tons of ice on the surface or at very shallow depth. This very important discovery comes to corroborate what scientists already suspected fifty years ago, and will undoubtedly give a decisive impulse to the lunar missions underway.

As on Earth, lunar water can come, at least in part, from comets that continually hit its surface billions of years ago. But another part could have been formed by combining the hydrogen ions of the solar viewing with the oxygen of some surface minerals.

The presence of large amounts of "mineral water" (never better) in the form of huge surface ice masses would greatly facilitate the installation of permanent colonies on the Moon. I invite my sagacious readers / es to imagine simple and economical ways to exploit the lunar ice. In addition to its obvious direct utility as a source of water, for what other purposes could lunar ice serve?

Carlo Frabetti He is a writer and mathematician, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He has published more than 50 popular science works for adults, children and young people, including Damn physics, Damn math or The big game. He was a screenwriter of The Cristal ball.

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