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 Author Thread: Stating odds of life at Gliese 581g 100% optimistic
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 83 (view)
Stating odds of life at Gliese 581g 100% optimistic
Posted: 10/20/2010 7:21:18 PM
How is it that this thread evolved (pun intended) from the science of a planet to that of religious debate ?
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 4 (view)
Stating odds of life at Gliese 581g 100% optimistic
Posted: 10/14/2010 11:37:04 AM
Nothing is 100% certain in science. Nothing.

So yes, it was an irresponsible public statement of opinion coming from a scientist.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 54 (view)
Fallacy of hyper-competence
Posted: 5/12/2010 1:48:41 AM
I'm going to attempt to sum it up concisely...

Common sense is a contradiction in terms. It's not common at all.

The majority follow the status quo du jour and believe whatever their ears hear without questioning/researching/learning about most things. And thus gives birth to paranoid conspiracy theories... and on the opposite side of that same coin... It also gives birth to naive ignorance of some of the nasty going on right under our noses.

Now this is not to say "conspiracies" don't exist, because they do... just not to the ridiculous numbers and the non-evidentiary depths that they go to that we see floating around the internet everyday.

Side note : That same majoral mentality was also the fundamental foundation for religious organizations and why they're successful still to this day.

Plant the seed, spread the word, and they will come.

Just my $.02
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 226 (view)
Can we construct a global egalitarian society? - Part 1 - currency
Posted: 5/12/2010 1:17:02 AM

Hey I just had an idea... Why don't we shut down the central banks and start using booze as currency?

Nobody touches my Crown Royal... nobody !
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 72 (view)
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/12/2010 1:10:37 AM
I blame Nascar and American Idol.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
Gender Wars - who is the more analytical, Men or Women?
Posted: 5/12/2010 1:06:23 AM
Actually as a woman, I find the complete opposite to be true for myself.

I'm always the one that's far less emotional/more analytical minded by comparison to most men I know (anecdotal, but that's been my personal experience). I don't think emotion has ever been a deciding factor for me in anything I had to chew over.

Come to think of it... I tend to be too cranial/analytical for my own damned good most times... I analyze everything to death and it drives emotional people nuts.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 28 (view)
Conspiracy to the power of WTF?!
Posted: 2/22/2010 9:49:31 AM
Holy ripped nylons Batman !

"Dem der guvmints is puttin chemikals in our water supply... ranebow colered chemikals !"

"Sumpin's wrong wit our guvmint and I axe all mericans ta git to da bottum of dis before it's too dern late y'all !!"

"20 yeers ago we was all safe. Now we is not safe anymoor."

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 94 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/10/2010 10:10:53 PM
^^^ If you're calculations are correct (approx), then wood burning certainly isn't the answer either. We'd cut off our noses to spite our face.

No the answer has to be in a renewable resource of some kind.

Hydroelectricity is the first thing that comes to my mind... being that I live in Manitoba, it's our power source. Cleanest renewable resource thus far in today's technology from what I understand.

But the problem with hydro power is it's not necessarily viable in all areas globally. It depends on an area's water resources and whether or not those resources could generate enough megawatts to meet the population needs.

So it can be part of the answer, but definately not the whole answer. I think each country is going to have to figure out which technology is going to work best in their geographical area and invest in that specifically.

There is no single answer for everyone globally, IMO.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 90 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/10/2010 8:37:00 PM

Now, paradoxically, people are crying that climate change is some huge corporate propaganda.

Correction : Nobody is debating climate change. People are debating AGW and its ridiculous policy implementations based on questionable "proof" behind, specifically, AGW and CO2 being the sole primary driver. Nothing to do with the general term known as "climate change".

Clean up our act ? Yes.
Get off of the fossil fuel nipple ? Yes.
Develop smart technology ? Yes.
Implement mitigation and adaptation due to climate changes ? Yes.

Tax CO2 because it's the acclaimed infamous primary driver behind AGW ? Wrong wrong wrong.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 85 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/10/2010 2:58:50 PM

Here ya go...

Arctic Ice Melting Faster

November 30, 2009

Arctic sea ice has duped satellites into reporting thick multiyear sea ice where in fact none exists, found researcher David Barber from the Univ. of Manitoba in Canada.

In 2008 and 2009 satellite data showed a growth in Arctic sea ice extension leaving some to reckon global warming was reversing. But after sailing an ice breaker to the southern Beaufort Sea this past September Barber and his colleagues found something unexpected: thin, "rotten" ice can electromagnetically masquerade as thick, multiyear sea ice. And contrary to what satellites recently suggested, we are actually speeding up the loss of the remaining, healthy, multiyear sea ice.

The results of the study have been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters, of the American Geophysical Union.

Ah yes... Barber et al (2009)... Actually the paper IS published in the GRL.
Here's the proper link :

Isn't it interesting how neither the NSIDC nor IARC-JAXA makes any mention of the "rotten ice" or duped satellites...? Hell even the boys over at Real can't be bothered to discuss the paper. You would think this would be huge news throughout the scientific community. But no... it only floats through the MSM and internet blogs.

Aren't Dr. Barber's fellow peers aware of such ground breaking research ? Why aren't they backing up what the peer-reviewed paper claims ?

Hmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Barber et al only travelled a small portion of the southern Beaufort Sea... or perhaps it may have something to do with the well-known fact amongst his peers that the "rotten ice" is commonly known in September after the melt season and not unprecidented specifically due to the recent years' warming, particularly in the Beaufort Sea area as of late... or perhaps it's because his peers are fully aware of the fact that the majority of the multi-year ice is currently located in the eastern half of the Arctic due to the mass loss of ice extent in 2007, thus other areas are covered in thinner new ice and "rotten ice"...

Albeit, credit to Dr. Barber et al for noting that some satellite data needs to be re-examined in terms of multi-year ice (but not ice area coverage) and the use of microwave emissions. However, Barber failed to acknowledge that several other data sources are already aware of the rotten and new ice combinations throughout the Arctic. Another words, his peers have recognized Barber's lack of homework skills and have just simply kept hush-hush about it until more detailed empirical data can be gathered to either support his paper, or debunk it. (if they even bother to do so)

So ultimately you guys are ranting on about something that has not been accepted in the science community, rather only various spewings from the MSM about one paper, by one team of researchers, with anecdotal data. Is there any wonder why the science community isn't pouncing on this one yet ?

Again, follow the actual science, not the MSM.

Nobody here is debating the Arctic sea ice melt and the warming of the Arctic. It's well documented by hundreds of scientists, satellite data AND proxy data AND observational data.

But when you stake a claim based on what the MSM is ranting about (rotten thinning ice) due to one research paper and the scientific community NOT following suit to what the MSM is posting... you're bluff will be called to task. Hence why I asked for you to post a link to your peer-reviewed source (Hint : I already suspected the source you were going to post) in order to demonstrate why it is so important to follow the science and NOT the MSM.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 77 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/9/2010 6:41:47 PM

All the science I've seen not only has continued to establish AGW, but in the past 12 months has argued that things (i.e. Artic ice melting) are WORSE than their projections. And they have their peer-reviewed papers to back that up.

I would appreciate it if you could provide a link to the peer-reviewed papers that claim the Arctic ice is melting at an even faster rate in the past 12 months. Thank you.

The fact that you haven't kept up with ALL of the science is not my cross to bare, it's yours. Your choice to only pay attention to the science that favours your belief system, is again, not my cross to bare, it's yours. Perhaps you may want to study up on the science to date before you attempt to enter a debate about it, rather than just going by what you hear on the MSM.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 62 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/9/2010 3:15:39 AM

As I've stated repeatedly, no one is denying that the climate changes. When people claim that the science of global warming is settled they're talking about the AGW theory.

Yes, some people seem to have difficulty comprehending the difference don't they.

It's the same for anyone who has any skepticism towards any one (or more) particular aspect(s) of the AGW hypothesis... everyone immediately jumps on the bandwagon and labels them a climate change denier.

Just as the title of this thread indicates : Timothy Ball on climate change denial, should be : Timothy Ball on AGW denial.

Big difference.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 49 (view)
Would you support a neutral language movement?
Posted: 2/8/2010 5:08:49 PM
I still haven't even caught on to this 'text' speak stuff yet...

Give us old folks a chance to catch up please before rearranging the entire english language too.

Muchly appreciated.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 103 (view)
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/8/2010 5:02:46 PM
The fact of the matter is that science will continue to progress whether you people like it or not.

So, quite frankly, your point is moot.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 58 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/8/2010 4:01:24 PM
No need to argue the AGW politicos and verbal rhetoric. You just need to pay attention to the actual science itself and the progress it's been making over the past few years since the publication of the IPCC's AR4.

Here's a small handful of peer-reviewed published papers that refute various areas of the AGW hypothesis and its GIGO computer models/feedback assumptions (plenty plenty more where these came from) :

Ensemble reconstruction constraints on the global carbon cycle sensitivity to climate

Nature 463, 527-530 (28 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08769; Received 24 July 2009; Accepted 12 December 2009

David C. Frank1,2, Jan Esper3, Christoph C. Raible2,4, Ulf Büntgen1, Valerie Trouet1, Benjamin Stocker2,4 & Fortunat Joos2,4

1. Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2. Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Zähringerstrasse 25, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
3. Department of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University, Becherweg 21, 55099 Mainz, Germany
4. Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract :

The processes controlling the carbon flux and carbon storage of the atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial biosphere are temperature sensitive1, 2, 3, 4 and are likely to provide a positive feedback leading to amplified anthropogenic warming3. Owing to this feedback, at timescales ranging from interannual to the 20–100-kyr cycles of Earth's orbital variations1, 5, 6, 7, warming of the climate system causes a net release of CO2 into the atmosphere; this in turn amplifies warming. But the magnitude of the climate sensitivity of the global carbon cycle (termed ?), and thus of its positive feedback strength, is under debate, giving rise to large uncertainties in global warming projections8, 9. Here we quantify the median ? as 7.7?p.p.m.v. CO2 per °C warming, with a likely range of 1.7–21.4?p.p.m.v. CO2 per °C. Sensitivity experiments exclude significant influence of pre-industrial land-use change on these estimates. Our results, based on the coupling of a probabilistic approach with an ensemble of proxy-based temperature reconstructions and pre-industrial CO2 data from three ice cores, provide robust constraints for ? on the policy-relevant multi-decadal to centennial timescales. By using an ensemble of >200,000 members, quantification of ? is not only improved, but also likelihoods can be assigned, thereby providing a benchmark for future model simulations. Although uncertainties do not at present allow exclusion of ? calculated from any of ten coupled carbon–climate models, we find that ? is about twice as likely to fall in the lowermost than in the uppermost quartile of their range. Our results are incompatibly lower (P?<?0.05) than recent pre-industrial empirical estimates of ~40?p.p.m.v. CO2 per °C (refs 6, 7), and correspondingly suggest ~80% less potential amplification of ongoing global warming.

Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

Petr Chylek
Space and Remote Sensing, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

Chris K. Folland
Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change, Exeter, UK

Glen Lesins
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Manvendra K. Dubey
Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

Muyin Wang
Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Abstract :

Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910–1940 and 1970–2008) by a significant 1940–1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910–1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970–2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.

Bio-physical feedbacks in the Arctic Ocean using an Earth system model

Matthieu Lengaigne
LOCEAN, IPSL, CNRS, Paris, France

Gurvan Madec
LOCEAN, IPSL, CNRS, Paris, France
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

Laurent Bopp
LSCE, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Christophe Menkes
LOCEAN, IPSL, CNRS, Paris, France

Olivier Aumont
LPO, IRD, CNRS, Brest, France

Patricia Cadule
LSCE, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Abstract :

An Earth System model with an oceanic biogeochemical component is shown to reproduce accurately the seasonal course of sea-ice and chlorophyll distribution in the Arctic region. It is argued that the phytoplankton blooms that occur concomitantly with the ice retreat along the Arctic coastal shelves in spring and summer strongly impact the Arctic climate and improve the sea-ice distribution in the model. Indeed, these blooms modify the vertical distribution of radiant heating and trap the penetrating solar heat flux at the surface in these regions. The resulting surface warming triggers a reduction of sea-ice thickness and concentration. This reduction increases the solar energy penetrating into the ocean, therefore providing a positive feedback that further amplifies the direct biological warming. The increased melting, precipitation and runoff related to these bio-physical feedbacks freshen the Arctic Ocean and the Greenland Sea, provoking a slight slowdown of the overturning circulation.

Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?

Wolfgang Knorr
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Abstract :

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.

Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation

M. Huss
Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland

M. Funk
Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

A. Ohmura
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract :

A 94-year time series of annual glacier melt at four high elevation sites in the European Alps is used to investigate the effect of global dimming and brightening of solar radiation on glacier mass balance. Snow and ice melt was stronger in the 1940s than in recent years, in spite of significantly higher air temperatures in the present decade. An inner Alpine radiation record shows that in the 1940s global shortwave radiation over the summer months was 8% above the long-term average and significantly higher than today, favoring rapid glacier mass loss. Dimming of solar radiation from the 1950s until the 1980s is in line with reduced melt rates and advancing glaciers.

On the recent warming in the Murray-Darling Basin: Land surface interactions misunderstood

Natalie Lockart
School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Dmitri Kavetski
School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Stewart W. Franks
School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Abstract :

Previous studies of the recent drought in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) have noted that low rainfall totals have been accompanied by anomalously high air temperatures. Subsequent studies have interpreted an identified trend in the residual timeseries of non-rainfall related temperature variability as a signal of anthropogenic change, further speculating that increased air temperature has exacerbated the drought through increasing evapotranspiration rates. In this study, we explore an alternative explanation of the recent increases in air temperature. This study demonstrates that significant misunderstanding of known processes of land surface – atmosphere interactions has led to the incorrect attribution of the causes of the anomalous temperatures, as well as significant misunderstanding of their impact on evaporation within the Murray-Darling Basin.

Excerpt :
However, to accept the correlation [between temperature and rainfall] as the sole basis for the attribution of cause to human emissions is to implicitly assume that the correlation represents an entirely correct model of the sole driver of maximum air temperature. This is clearly not the case.

Near-surface permafrost degradation: How severe during the 21st century?

G. Delisle
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover, Germany

Abstract :

A previously presented model on nearly complete near-surface permafrost degradation in the Arctic during the 21st century is critically reviewed. An alternative model with a more complete mathematical formulation of the physical processes acting in permafrost terrain is presented, which suggests that permafrost will mostly prevail in this century in areas north of 70°N. Furthermore, permafrost will survive at depth in most areas between 60° to 70°N. Based on paleoclimatic data and in consequence of this study, it is suggested that scenarios calling for massive release of methane in the near future from degrading permafrost are questionable.

Excerpts :

In light of these compelling observations, it would appear that even if global warming were to accelerate and reach a tipping point that led to the demise of much of the world's permafrost, the subsequent "terrestrialization" of these regions would actually lead to more carbon being stored in the soils and vegetation of these parts of the world, rather than -- as climate alarmist claim -- more being lost.

A second, rarely touched upon question is associated with the apparently limited amount of organic carbon that had been released from permafrost terrain in previous periods of climatic warming such as e.g. the Medieval Warm Period or during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. There appear to be no significant CH4-excursions in ice core records of Antarctica or Greenland during these time periods which otherwise might serve as evidence for a massive release of methane into the atmosphere from degrading permafrost terrains.

There's reason why the science is never settled and is open to refutation and future correction of all speculations and assumptions.

Correlation DOES NOT prove causation.

For politicians, or any other proponent group, to silence/sequester skeptical science of any kind is unequivocal evidence of dogmatic religiousity. It goes against the very foundation of the scientific method and its basic principles.

.... And so.... the science just keeps chugging along whether the AGW hypothesis likes it or not.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 33 (view)
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/6/2010 9:10:43 PM
We obviously impact our environment and need to change our ways.

But 100% at fault for climate change globally ?!

Not possible.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 102 (view)
Global warming + CO2. explain this then
Posted: 2/6/2010 9:05:59 PM
^^^^ Absolutely agreed. Warmer temps in the Arctic (or anywhere) produces more evaporation and increased saturation... but at some point saturation maxes out and the end result is more precipitation (aka snow in the Arctic)... hence the AGW more precipitation theory.

If the Arctic ice is thinning (BTW it's no longer receding according to the latest NASA images), then that means there is less snowfall and ice build up.


Surely NASA has taken into account the fact that the Arctic ice receded, to which it has now almost fully recovered, and now has new ice which would obviously be thinner until it thickens over time with snowfall build up ? New ice is thinner than old ice for obvious reasons.

Or are they just taking images and seeing thinner ice and tossing that info out there to the MSM without adding the fact of why the ice is thinner ?
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 34 (view)
Losing the moon?
Posted: 2/6/2010 8:49:04 PM
Heh heh... looking through a telescope on the moon... wow !

(I think I just drooled down my chin)
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 96 (view)
Global warming + CO2. explain this then
Posted: 2/4/2010 12:01:05 AM
I would like to mention what would happen to the earth without greenhouse gasses.
The moon which is about the same distance from the sun has a temperature ranging
-387 to 253 °F. In other words we humans would be dead without greenhouse gasses. it is important to note that H2O is also a greenhouse gas and and I can personally attest that in the dessert where H2O content is low, the temperature varies from very hot in the day to freezing cold at night.

Actually, the enormous changes in temperatures in dry arid areas like the desert has more to do with lack of cloud cover.

No moisture, no cloud cover. Sun baked during the day, and more heat loss at night. Clouds act like a blanket at night, they trap heat.

So yes, water vapour plays a role in the desert, but only in terms of cloud formation (or lackthereof in this case)... not the overall atmospheric saturation (positive feedback) on CO2 (greenhouse effect), like what you're describing in your post.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
Here comes the sun
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:35:40 PM
I'm wondering if this activity lately is just a teaser though... perhaps it may look like it's getting some life back into it, only to turn around and go back to sleep for a bit ?

No doubt solar physicists are hoping the giant will stay sleeping for just a wee while longer in terms of study and new learning curves.

This has been an extraordinary cycle for solar science in all the years of study thus far... solar output, GCR's, magnetism, etc etc.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 42 (view)
The Pandemic That Wasn't - What Have We learned ?
Posted: 1/31/2010 8:47:42 AM
The problem with this whole thing now is : Just when the hell do people know when it's actually time to take a 'pandemic' seriously (or any other panic-du-jour) and get the vaccination for something ?!

It seems misinformation is running rampant these days (I blame the media vultures for most of it)... and people's heads are spinning.

The next time the WHO reports a pandemic, more people are going to now sit back and laugh it off (thus causing an ever more dangerous risk of spreading)... This is the EXTREME danger of over-blowing anything to the public that should not be.

The boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome.

Ensuing panic, unless it is absolutely beyond a shadow of doubt, is playing Russian roulette.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 25 (view)
Anybody seen the moon tonight
Posted: 1/30/2010 12:52:38 PM

Hey Muse, I've used a similar system, the CPC 8" with the only difference between the two is the Nexstar, you have to input your Lat and Long. The auto two-star alignment is the easiest method for aligning the scope. However, if you're not crazy about the mount, have you considered putting the tube on something like an EQ3 or CG5 mount? The nice thing about either is you have the option of using the mount manually and simply equiping it with an RA drive.

The 8" has a Vixen-style dovetail and would fit easily.

Ah, but the dream of your very own observatory. I know what you mean. When my car was on the road, I had to schlep all my equipment out to the field, set up, take down and schlep it back when I was done. Major pain! But worth it for those rare and wonderful nights of dark sky and amazing sights!

I was completely unaware that I could change the mount ! Boy have I got a lot to learn... I would love love love to have a mount that I have the option to work manually OR electronically ! I will most definately have to investigate. The scope is great otherwise.

Just took up this hobby (or at least with an actual telescope) a couple of years ago. Oh what the naked eye cannot see (even with binoculars).

I hear ya on the "schleping" part. When I lived in the city, the only feasible dark skies were in the country, hence "schleping" it into the car, driving out, setting up, and "schleping" it back home... some nights were a total let down and it became frustrating at times.

If only Santa would bring me that damn observatory. But in the meantime, do you have any recommendations for a good tabletop telescope ? The handiness of whiping it out for a quick viewing of something would be great.

Speaking of the moon... does anyone know what causes the 'harvest moon' ? You know in the fall when it looks orange-ish and humongous on the horizon ?
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 15 (view)
First-time home buyer.......what is the first step that I need to take??
Posted: 1/29/2010 5:17:03 PM
The absolute must first step is to get pre-approved (also shop around the banks to get the best interest rates and mortgage agreement that suits your financial needs/abilities). Banks offer a wide range of options.

Once you've done that, you're good to go.

(This is assuming you've already figured out your budgeting and realistically figured out what you can afford. Always assume the worst, like losing your job and whether you could keep payments going until you find another one.)

Once approved now you know what price range to shop in (keeping in mind that the bank will approve more than what real-life budgeting would be, so stick to YOUR price range wich will obviously be lower than what the bank approved you for), and also it speeds up the process once you do find a home that you want to toss an offer on.

No muss, no fuss.

Get the pre-approval before talking to a real estate agent. They'll just tell you to go get pre-approved anyway so you don't waste their time if you get refused for financing.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 17 (view)
Anybody seen the moon tonight
Posted: 1/29/2010 5:06:37 PM

What 'scope have you got? I've got my SP-C80 set up and I'm hoping to do a bit of imaging of Mars. Tried it with my LX10 8" SCT but the images were less than satisfying. I'd love to know how some of these guys do it?

I have a Celestron Nexstar 8SE. Great scope, fantastic for viewing deep sky objects... but I really really hate the 'goto' feature... I never use it. I just pan the skies manually instead.

The forever need for power (via plug in or batteries) can be a pain as well. You can't maneuver the scope without it. But it's great holding the remote in your hand without having to take your eye away from the eyepiece... makes for fun sky-surfing.

I wish I could have a spot where I could leave my scope setup all the time. Like I said, it is a bit of a pain to setup all the time, which means you can't just spontaneously pull out the scope to do a quick viewing of something.

The hope is to one day build myself a mini-observatory in the backyard. I get some perfect dark skies in the small town I live in (everybody keeps their lights off at night)... so light pollution wouldn't be an issue if I were to go ahead and build one.

I've yet to try imaging with my scope. But there are so many things I've viewed that I would love to permanently capture in picture... I'd have to do a little investing to purchase all the goodies for it though (not to mention actually learning how to use it)
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 27 (view)
If you had your time over...
Posted: 1/29/2010 4:49:59 PM
One day, hmmm...

Invest in Microsoft.

And then run around the rest of the day pointing at every guy with a mullet and laughing.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 14 (view)
Anybody seen the moon tonight
Posted: 1/29/2010 4:40:08 PM
Gorgeous pic mtnwldflower. I especially like the hazy frost in the air.

I think I've told late™ before that I was jealous of his beautiful surroundings in Quebec... damn him anyway. Traitor Winterpegger...pfft
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 12 (view)
Anybody seen the moon tonight
Posted: 1/29/2010 4:32:45 PM
Yes I noticed a very bright light coming in my office window last night... went and looked. It was an overly bright moon shining in and I thought to myself : Man, I wish I had a handy dandy tabletop telescope. Mine is so bloody big and bulky, it takes half an hour to set up.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 4 (view)
Would it really be possible for humanity to be falling back to the stone age and, if so, how?
Posted: 1/28/2010 9:41:04 PM
Apocalyptic scenario wishers are always lurking in the shadows. It's human nature.

But there is a definite ground basis to what Einstein said :

"I know not with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but I know WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones."
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 15 (view)
The Pandemic That Wasn't - What Have We learned ?
Posted: 1/28/2010 1:08:35 PM
And yet another prime example of empirically unfounded, media overblown 'panic in the streets'.

And now that this one has fizzled, anyone care to guess what the next panic will be ?

Typhus ?
Road rage ?
Acid snow ?
Asteroid ?
Sun exploding ?

... what will be the next panicked 'flavour-of-the-day-we're-all-going-to-die' scenario...

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 146 (view)
Posted: 1/25/2010 12:39:28 AM
Oh hell, the Himalayan "Glaciergate" is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended).

Here's the lastest on the so-called peer-reviewed science reported in the IPCC AR4 via the WWF :

Jan 23, 2010

More Dodgy Citations in the Nobel-Winning IPCC Report

At its heart, the Himalayan glacier scandal that has recently shaken the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) involves a document created by the WWF.

The WWF is an activist organization. Much of its funding comes from public donations. The more successful the WWF is at persuading the public that there's a crisis, the more likely people are to give it money. (In North America, WWF stands for World Wildlife Fund. Elsewhere, it stands for World Wide Fund for Nature.)

Many of those associated with the WWF are lovely human beings. But that doesn't change the fact that the WWF is not a neutral, disinterested party. It has an agenda, an ax to grind, a definite point-of-view. Rather than being a scientific organization, it is a political one. In the UK, the media aptly calls the WWF a "pressure-group."

The IPCC, on the other hand describes itself as "a scientific body" that provides "the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change" by assessing "the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information."

Many people would consider it improper for a science-focused organization to rely on a document created by an oil company, since the oil company can't be counted on to provide the whole story. Surely, therefore, it is equally improper for the IPCC to consider a statement to be true solely because an activist group says it is.

Surely scientists, working for a scientific body, tasked with producing a scientific assessment would endeavor to keep their distance from political spin of all kinds.

But that is not how the IPCC behaves. AR4 is the shorthand name for the 2007 Nobel-winning IPCC report. When one types "WWF" into an AR4 search box dozens of references are returned.

For example, a WWF report is cited twice on this page as the only supporting proof of IPCC statements about coastal developments in Latin America. A WWF report is referenced twice by the IPCC's Working Group II in it concluding statements. There, the IPCC depends on the WWF to define what the global average per capita "ecological footprint" is compared to the ecological footprint of central and Eastern Europe.

Elsewhere, when discussing "mudflows and avalanches" linked to melting glaciers, the oh-so-scientifically-circumspect IPCC relies on two sources to make its point - an apparently still unpublished paper delivered to a conference five years earlier (Bhadra, 2002) and a WWF document.

Similarly, the only reason the IPCC can declare that "Changes in climate are affecting many mountain glaciers, with rapid glacier retreat documented in the Himalayas, Greenland, the European Alps, the Andes Cordillera and East Africa" is because a WWF report makes this claim.

In a section on coral reefs and mangroves, a WWF report is the IPCC's sole reason for believing that, in "the Mesoamerican reef there are up to 25 times more fish of some species on reefs close to mangrove areas than in areas where mangroves have been destroyed."

When the IPCC advises world leaders that "climate change is very likely to produce significant impacts on selected marine fish and shellfish (Baker, 2005)" it doesn't call attention to the fact that the sole authority on which this statement rests is a WWF workshop project report (see the "Baker" document below).

All told, an extensive list of documents created or co-authored by the WWF is cited by this Nobel-winning IPCC report:

* Allianz and World Wildlife Fund, 2006: Climate change and the financial sector: an agenda for action, 59 pp. [Accessed 03.05.07: filelibrary/pdf/allianz_rep_0605.pdf]
* Austin, G., A. Williams, G. Morris, R. Spalding-Feche, and R. Worthington, 2003: Employment potential of renewable energy in South Africa. Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Denmark, November, 104 pp.
* Baker, T., 2005: Vulnerability Assessment of the North-East Atlantic Shelf Marine Ecoregion to Climate Change, Workshop Project Report, WWF, Godalming, Surrey, 79 pp.
* Coleman, T., O. Hoegh-Guldberg, D. Karoly, I. Lowe, T. McMichael, C.D. Mitchell, G.I. Pearman, P. Scaife and J. Reynolds, 2004: Climate Change: Solutions for Australia. Australian Climate Group, 35 pp. publications/acg_solutions.pdf
* Dlugolecki, A. and S. Lafeld, 2005: Climate change - agenda for action: the financial sector’s perspective. Allianz Group and WWF, Munich [may be the same document as "Allianz" above, except that one is dated 2006 and the other 2005]
* Fritsche, U.R., K. Hünecke, A. Hermann, F. Schulze, and K. Wiegmann, 2006: Sustainability standards for bioenergy. Öko-Institut e.V., Darmstadt, WWF Germany, Frankfurt am Main, November
* Giannakopoulos, C., M. Bindi, M. Moriondo, P. LeSager and T. Tin, 2005: Climate Change Impacts in the Mediterranean Resulting from a 2oC Global Temperature Rise. WWF report, Gland Switzerland. Accessed 01.10.2006 at ... july05.pdf.
* Hansen, L.J., J.L. Biringer and J.R. Hoffmann, 2003: Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. WWF Climate Change Program, Berlin, 246 pp.
* ... te_savers/ index.cfm
* Lechtenbohmer, S., V. Grimm, D. Mitze, S. Thomas, M. Wissner, 2005: Target 2020: Policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. WWF European Policy Office, Wuppertal
* Malcolm, J.R., C. Liu, L. Miller, T. Allnut and L. Hansen, Eds., 2002a: Habitats at Risk: Global Warming and Species Loss in Globally Significant Terrestrial Ecosystems. WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Gland, 40 pp.
* Rowell, A. and P.F. Moore, 2000: Global Review of Forest Fires. WWF/IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 66 pp. /files/global_review_forest_fires.pdf
* WWF, 2004: Deforestation threatens the cradle of reef diversity. World Wide Fund for Nature, 2 December 2004.
* WWF, 2004: Living Planet Report 2004. WWF- World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), Gland, Switzerland, 44 pp.
* WWF (World Wildlife Fund), 2005: An overview of glaciers, glacier retreat, and subsequent impacts in Nepal, India and China. World Wildlife Fund, Nepal Programme, 79 pp.
* Zarsky, L. and K. Gallagher, 2003: Searching for the Holy Grail? Making FDI Work for Sustainable Development. Analytical Paper, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Switzerland

I've only spent a few hours tracking these down, so there may be more.

I haven't yet fully explored the Greenpeace citations, but two occur in the first paragraph on this page.

Finally, there are these authoritative sources cited by the IPCC - publications with names such as Leisure and Event Management:

* Jones, B. and D. Scott, 2007: Implications of climate change to Ontario’s provincial parks. Leisure, (in press)
* Jones, B., D. Scott and H. Abi Khaled, 2006: Implications of climate change for outdoor event planning: a case study of three special events in Canada’s National Capital region. Event Management, 10, 63-76

This, apparently, is how you win a Nobel prize.

Link below :
(reading the original post to the one I made above also provides proper linkage throughout the document - as POF doesn't contain a proper [url] feature, I didn't bother)

... I predict the rats are going to start jumping ship soon
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 30 (view)
The best advice you've ever gotten???
Posted: 1/25/2010 12:00:49 AM
"Question everything."


"Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his mocassins."
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 32 (view)
Is it enough to do no harm?
Posted: 1/24/2010 11:49:17 PM
This reminds me of a character's line in The Day After Tomorrow movie :

They're in the NY library running around collecting books to burn and stay warm. On the second level two people are arguing about whether or not to burn the original copy of the bible...

Down on the lower level there's another guy gathering books and he calls up to them : "Uh, guys... there's an entire section here on tax laws that we can burn !"

Priceless !
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
Am I the only one who thinks this?
Posted: 1/24/2010 11:39:41 PM
Odds are a snowflake pattern has repeated itself at some point.

Mathematically speaking.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 59 (view)
Girls with geek-like they even exist?
Posted: 1/24/2010 11:07:36 PM
Well, it seems there are a ton of us geeky gals out there according to the responses in this thread.

As for myself :

- Sci-fi addict
- Sci-fi/apocalyptic/fantasy movie addict
- Amateur astronomer
- Member of Royal Astronomical Society and frequenter of 'star parties'
- Fan of Carl Sagan
- Own the Cosmos dvd series
- Own the dvd Alien quadrilogy ensemble (with bonus features)
- Actually I own roughly 2500-3000 dvd's/blue-ray's (so that pretty much covers everything)
- My tv is a 52" flat panel LCD (like as if my dvd collection didn't already give that away)
- Computer whiz (hardware/software) - friends call me for help
- Read every Isaac Asimov book
- Read every Stephen King book
- Read every Terry Brooks book
- Read every Arthur C. Clarke book
- Read every JRR Tolkien book
- Walls are covered in Leonardo Da Vinci framed art prints of his original invention schematics
- PC Gamer addict
- Mmorpg addict
- Ex-mudroom player
- Ex-Dungeons and dragons player
- Medievel period addict
- Have been to more than one 'Renaissance Fair'
- I own practically every piece of electronics and gadgets known to mankind
- Fan of Einstein
- Posters of Einstein all over the walls in my office
- Pictures of Einstein on a sweatshirt, 3 t-shirts, and my bbq apron (that one is hilarious of him - shows him with his crazy hair and the caption reads "and then she go boom" - perfect for a bbq apron !)
- Member of numerous science-related forums
- Subscriber of various Science and Techie Magazines (you won't find a Cosmopolitan mag in my house)
- Hate anything 'pink' or 'frilly'
- Am allergic to 'doilies'
- Own several t-shirts that proudly display the geek in me to everyone
- Walk around house in plaid jammie bottoms, Alien slippers, and ponytail
- Will run to corner store in plaid jammie bottoms, Alien slippers, and ponytail

... and then I go to my white collar job as an accountant dressed to the 'nines' and carrying my briefcase (I call it my Spideyman pseudo-disguise)

... I don't think it gets any geekier than that folks !
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 7 (view)
Just Another Danger Attributed To General Scientific Illiteracy...
Posted: 1/23/2010 5:48:25 AM
You mean all those years of watching Bugs Bunny cartoons shows Bugs walking around with a 'Y' shaped tree branch dowsing for carrots and when he found one, he would bounce around vibrating like an alarm clock.... none of that was actually real ?!

Thufferin' Thukatash !

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 18 (view)
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/14/2010 9:50:06 AM

Ah... The Age of Irrational Fear...

It never ceases to amaze me how skilled some people are in making a bang-on point so beautifully summed up in one tiny little concise sentence.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 14 (view)
Why is the general public discouraged from space exploring?
Posted: 1/10/2010 12:15:05 PM
I think it has something to do with fear of the unknown, and fear of change.

It seems the majority of people just want to live in their illusion of a safe little bubble, going about their mindless business as usual... drones, worker bees.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/7/2010 11:41:58 AM
What a shame Cern has to put up with this time consuming, funding consuming crap...

If the world's laymen truly understood science as a whole and what goes on (from the supergiant right down to the nano point) all around them all the time, on the planet, in space, over their heads, under their feet, and the neverending life threatening dangers at every moment of every day... they'd never leave their friggin houses/basement bunkers for fear of getting killed.

What next ? Fear of butterflies affecting nature's wind velocity and hydrological balance of the trade winds or the Hadley Cell ?

If science isn't allowed to learn about the universe around us, how the hell are we ever going to be able to adapt, mitigate, prepare for whatever might come our way ?!

Lightening was feared due to the anger of the gawds at one time too...

Ignorance is not bliss.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 75 (view)
Some small things
Posted: 12/11/2009 1:27:11 PM

Green Energy - is there an economical way to get in on it?

As it currently stands with our known developing technologies, rate of progress, and cost to produce/change over....

The answer is NO.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 361 (view)
The Science of Global Warming
Posted: 11/29/2009 11:42:19 PM
Here's the 'big elephant in the room' for me with AGW and why I'm a skeptic :

The huge assumption of positive water vapour feedback and the lack of understanding of cloud formation and its role as a negative feedback in the overall mechanism of climate.

How are clouds formed exactly ?
Are they a negative feedback ?
And if so, how dominant is it ?
Does one feedback cancel out the other ?
Are we observing more cloud formation now ? Or less ?
And so on, and so on.

The IPCC admits in AR4 their lack of understanding in feedback mechanisms, especially clouds.

Without the positive feedback assumption, AGW (specifically CO2 as the lead author) cannot possibly work.

As far as I'm concerned, full true understanding of feedback/albedo mechanism(s) is an enormous missing chunk of the puzzle.

The science cannot possibly be 'settled' without that knowledge.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 21 (view)
how do you decide what's criminal/wrong/unethical?
Posted: 11/24/2009 3:56:17 PM

Which means that (for instance) our compulsary helmet legislation is all three.

It breaks the law because it infringes on your liberty.
It could be a causal factor in an accident (and therefore cause harm to others) for any of several reasons. (inability to properly shoulder-check, heat/sweat distraction, reduced field of view, etc.)
It is therefore unethical too.


And it's my right to decide whether or not I want to splatter my brains all over the highway when I'm riding my motorcycle....

But the law tells me I don't get the right to make that decision because it's bad for me.

Thus if we're not criminals, then we're wrong, and we're unethical.

Can't win, can we.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 19 (view)
how do you decide what's criminal/wrong/unethical?
Posted: 11/24/2009 3:33:08 PM

how do you decide what's criminal/wrong/unethical?

Here's my take on it :

If it breaks the law, it's criminal
If it hurts another person, it's wrong
If it does both, it's unethical

Hope that clears the confusion.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 329 (view)
God's existence
Posted: 11/24/2009 3:29:45 PM
I just marvel at the length of scorpio's posts.....
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 24 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/15/2009 2:36:29 AM

I was shocked when I started reading up on this about how cold the moon can get.

Me too. My understanding was the coldest to be -150 to -180 celcius at best. But -230 ? Wow.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 22 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/15/2009 2:04:50 AM
You may be right on their 'abundance' claim to some degree. This could just be an assumption on their part as to whether or not the crystals are widely spread out and/or deep in the dust. Again, they can only base their assumptions on existing observational data thus far. However, mere coincidence in only one area does not seem likely.

As for solar wind and hydrogen bonding with oxygen to form water.... now you're asking us to sit around and hypothesize what may or may not account for any other possible 'abundances' outside of meteor/comet impacts.

As for actual causation(s), your guess is as good as mine. For now, their comet hypothesis makes sense.

NASA estimates about 80 liters were found and expect more at the poles. The Cabeus crater they kicked up has a temperature of about -230 celcius (way colder than what I originally thought) and has not seen sunlight for an estimated 2 billion years.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 18 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/14/2009 4:05:58 PM

Ok still have issues with this.

Firstly, why would NASA need to make assumptions when they had 6 missions there and their rover made a round trip of some 35 miles, I think? You could only make an assumption IF you have never been there to test it. You could say that there was no water where they were but not conclusively say there was no water at all on the moon but now they are saying that water is in abundance.

Secondly, they looked for water in a crater, on the permanent shady part. Ok is this not the site of a catastrophic event? Would this site have not been exposed to direct sun previous to this impact? So either the water was there before the crater formed, in which case water would/should be where the moon landings were or it condensed there in which case it should be detectable in what little atmosphere the moon has. If you are claiming that water evaporated from where the landings were then it should have evaporated from the crater site before the crater happened…did water turn up after the crater formed? How?

Without looking too much into the figures, water boils at 212 degrees at sea level...with little to almost no atmosphere (negligable) on the moon, even on the shady bit, wouldn't water have evaporated away anyway. I am happy to be corrected on this point though.

(To many folks, the phrase “dark side of the moon” suggests there’s a place you could go to on the moon which is perpetually cloaked in darkness. This is incorrect! Sunlight is always falling on some part of the moon.)

Andyaa :

Firstly - Their 35 mile round trip was not from pole to pole. The samples they took were not from the poles, thus no water content was found. Thus the assumption of the moon being dry and arid. They can only base their theory on existing observational data. Try to remember the limitations and infancy of astronomical science back in the 60's and 70's. People used to think the earth was flat at one time too. Science learns as it improves its technological and observational abilities.

Secondly - There are permanently shadowed areas of the moon at both poles and/or areas that receive very minimal sun exposure. This is where they found the ice crystals.

Meteors and comets strike the moon on a regular basis. Meteors and comets contain ice crystals. Therefore, when a meteor impacts an area of the moon that's shadowed from the sun and forms an even deeper area (crater) that's shadowed from the sun, would it not make sense for the water content of a meteor to remain in frozen state being how the permanently shadowed areas of the moon are as low as -170 degrees celsius ?
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 11 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/14/2009 5:46:08 AM
Well apparently water is needed to make rocket fuel.... that's a new one on me.

It has a high water content.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/14/2009 4:02:36 AM
My only questions about all of this is :

How much dirt will have to be processed to extract a gallon of water/ice ?
What are the effects of long term low atmosphere/high radiation exposure ?
What are the risks of meteors and debris plummeting down on a new base/colony ?
How heavy and how large will the machinery be that would be capable of extracting hundreds of gallons of water/ice in a reasonable amount of time ?
Would it be feasible to build such machinery on site, or would it have to be shipped whole ?
And is it even possible to do so without breaking the bank ?
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 6 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/13/2009 10:51:25 PM
... pioneer moon colonists

Man I love the sound of that !

And just think Dukky, with water they could even manufacture beer on the moon :
MoonUnit Zappa Ale - "When you just can't resist quenching your thirst, this side of the universe."

Can you picture it ? Huh huh, can ya ?

.... I wonder what colour the bottles will be.... emerald cheese green or dwarf star brown ?

My sci-fi dreams are finally coming to fruition.

Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 1 (view)
Splash ! The moon has water !
Posted: 11/13/2009 6:39:15 PM


By ALICIA CHANG (AP) – 29 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES — Suddenly, the moon looks exciting again. It has lots of water, scientists said Friday — a thrilling discovery that sent a ripple of hope for a future astronaut outpost in a place that has always seemed barren and inhospitable.

Experts have long suspected there was water on the moon. Confirmation came from data churned up by two NASA spacecraft that intentionally slammed into a lunar crater last month.

"Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn't find just a little bit. We found a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, lead scientist for the mission, holding up a white water bucket for emphasis.

The lunar crash kicked up at least 25 gallons and that's only what scientists could see from the plumes of the impact, Colaprete said.

Some space policy experts say that makes the moon attractive for exploration again. Having an abundance of water would make it easier to set up a base camp for astronauts, supplying drinking water and a key ingredient for rocket fuel.

"Having definitive evidence that there is substantial water is a significant step forward in making the moon an interesting place to go," said George Washington University space policy scholar John Logsdon.

Even so, members of the blue-ribbon panel reviewing NASA's future plans said it doesn't change their conclusion that the program needs more money to get beyond near-Earth orbit. The panel wants NASA to look at other potential destinations like asteroids and Mars.

"This new and terrific result reassures us about lunar resources, but ... the challenges currently facing the human spaceflight program remain," Chris Chyba, a Princeton astrophysicist who is on the panel, said in an e-mail.

President George W. Bush had proposed a more than $100 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon, then go on to Mars; a test flight of an early version of a new rocket was a success last month. President Barack Obama appointed the special panel to look at the entire moon exploration program. The decision is now up to the White House, and NASA's lunar plans are somewhat on hold until then.

As for unmanned exploration, previous missions had detected the presence of hydrogen in lunar craters near the moon's poles, possible evidence of ice. In September, scientists reported finding tiny amounts of water in the lunar soil all over the moon's surface.

But it was NASA's Oct. 9 mission involving the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, LCROSS, that provided the stunning confirmation announced Friday — water, in the forms of ice and vapor.

"Rather than a dead and unchanging world, it could in fact be a very dynamic and interesting one," said Greg Delory of the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the mission, led by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

The LCROSS spacecraft only hit one spot on the moon and it's unclear how much water there is across the entire moon.

The October mission involved two strikes into a permanently shadowed crater near the south pole. First, an empty rocket hull slammed into the Cabeus crater. Then, a trailing spacecraft recorded the drama live before it also crashed into the same spot four minutes later.

Though scientists were overjoyed with the plethora of data beamed back to Earth, the mission was a public relations dud. Space enthusiasts who stayed up all night to watch the spectacle did not see the promised giant plume of debris.

NASA scientists had predicted the twin impacts would spew six miles of dust into the sunlight. Instead, images revealed only a mile-high plume, and it was not visible to many amateur astronomers peering through telescopes.

Scientists spent a month analyzing data from the spacecraft's spectrometers, instruments that can detect strong signals of water molecules in the plume.

"We've had hints that there is water. This was almost like tasting it," said Peter Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown University and a co-investigator on the LCROSS mission.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 made his historic Apollo 11 moonwalk with Neil Armstrong, was pleased to hear the latest discovery, but still believes the U.S. should focus on colonizing Mars.

"People will overreact to this news and say, `Let's have a water rush to the moon,'" Aldrin said. "It doesn't justify that."

Mission scientists said it would take more time to tease out what else was kicked up in the moon dust.

AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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