Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hubble Zooms In On Moon Minerals

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the do-you-see-what-i-see dept.

Space 191

DIY News writes "Lunar scientists have already returned to the moon, using the Hubble Space Telescope and old Apollo Program rock samples to begin prospecting for useful ores. Locating ores rich in oxygen and metals is seen as the first step in making the next decade's human return to the moon more self sufficient and cost effective. Some wavelengths of UV are filtered out by Earth's atmosphere, which is why Hubble can do the job better than a ground-based telescope."

cancel ×

191 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Keep Hubble! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838251)

They should save that telescope.

And, First Post?

Re:Keep Hubble! (0, Offtopic)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838362)

Isn't it spelled "Frist Psot!"?

Re:Keep Hubble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13839270)

Sorry, in my rush to get the "Frist Psot", I missssppeelled it.

Hollywood basement ? (5, Interesting)

bushboy (112290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838255)

So how about a hires shot of the flag and footprints so we can all say "I TOLD YOU SO !"

Re:Hollywood basement ? (3, Funny)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838276)

Because it's impossible to fake a digital image =P

Re:Hollywood basement ? (2, Funny)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838378)

Maybe they should fax it, since faxes are legally binding and therefore must not be alterable. :/

Re:Hollywood basement ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838671)

Yes, but IS THERE OIL ON THE MOON? I really need oil for my SUV. Can't take public transportation; my country wasn't designed for it and besides, buses are for poor people. I'll kill as many brown people as necessary just for a few barrels of that precious light, sweet crude. I'll build a tanker as big as Rhode Island and send it to the moon to load up on oil and bring it back here.

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838326)

There would have to be a flag and some footsteps on the moon in order for them to zoom in on them. I think a google moon would be fun to play with, dont suppose something similar already exists online?

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838412)

Google Moon... [google.com]

Re:Hollywood basement ? (3, Funny)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838444)

weird, i try to zoom in to see the footsteps, but the surface its showing looks nothing like the hollywood soundstage?

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1)

kmhebert (586931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838475)

Google Moon [google.com] is here, although it only shows the area of the Apollo landings. There was a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] discussing it, it was developed for the 36th anniversary of the first moon landing. What I would like to know is, if we were able to do Apollo (and Mercury AND Gemini) in less than ten years, why 1. haven't we been back in over 30 years [nasa.gov] 2. aren't we going to go back for another 13 years [msn.com] ?

Why so long? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838938)

In the 60s the US was rolling from the boom of the 50s, the recapitalization of the US following the Depression and WW2, there was another huge fall off right after WW2, so really the lull had lasted from 1930 to 1947. From '47 to '63 there was a huge boom and things were good. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Polaris missiles, Minuteman, Titan and a host of other rocket projects slammed out. US and Western defense were tied to rockets.

Then the costs of the Great Society and Vietnam started to pile on, the economy started lagging at the same time. The moonshots were inertia of the early 60s but cuts were coming. Apollo ended in '72 as the economy really started to lag, then the '73 War and the Oil Crisis kicked our behinds.

The US didn't need heavy lift rockets for national defense anymore, so Space became a sideshow, the Russian economy lagged too inspite of thier oil independance and so thier programs lagged at the same time. They build Mir and two shuttles, we built the Shuttles, probes and Hubble.

The 80s were on again and off again economicly. The boom of the 90s could have funded a Mars shot, but NASA blew it's pitch to Bush 41 with talk of a half trillion dollar bill and the Clinton Administration didn't get Space and didn't get Defense and so NASA crawled along.

Re:Hollywood basement ? Insufficient resolution (5, Informative)

fizzup (788545) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838433)

The HST does not have sufficient resolution for this. The biggest thing that astronauts left on the moon is on the order of 1m, and the moon is 4e8 meters away, for an angular size of about 2.5e-9 radians. To resolve this at a wavelength of 800nm, you need a circular mirror with a diameter of 390m = 1.22 * 8e-7 / 2.5e-9. It would be cheaper to go and look, rather than to build a mirror that big.

Re:Hollywood basement ? Insufficient resolution (5, Funny)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838545)

You sir, need to find a wife.

Re:Hollywood basement ? Insufficient resolution (4, Funny)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839382)

"Honey, I love you, but I'm tired of you talking about this stuff. Why don't you talk to your nerd friends on Slashweb or whatever it's called".

Re:Hollywood basement ? Insufficient resolution (4, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838755)

Your uber knowledge of napkin math makes me feel stupid :(

I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy!

Re:Hollywood basement ? (5, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838617)

The highest resolution Hubble is capable of is 0.0072 arc-seconds.

An arc-second is defined such that a 1 meter object will appear as 1 arc-second at a distance of 206,256 meters.

The distance from Hubble (~600km orbit) to the moon (~384,400km) is ... well, about 383,800 km

So if Hubble produced an image with 1 pixel-per-arcsecond resolution, a pixel would be 1.86 kilometers. But the highest resolution is 0.0072 arc-seconds, or about 140 times better than that.

So the smallest object Hubble can see on the moon is 13 meters wide.

Neither the lander module or the rover are that big. Not even close. Good luck finding something that's less than a pixel wide!
=Smidge=

what? (0, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838688)

Did you fall out out of a computer? Like the previous comment....you need to find a wife.......PLEASE ;) ;)

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1)

Ticklemonster (736987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838705)

So what is it they are looking for again? 13 meter rocks?

Re:Hollywood basement ? (2, Interesting)

Mente (219525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838812)

Actually, this is incorrect. Not the math, just the application. For example, a 1 meter resolution image such as the ones on GoogleMaps can see lines painted in a parking lot. But the lines are't 1 meter wide. Not even close. However, the level of contrast between that line and the surroundings are enough for the lines to appear on the image.

Given enough contrast with its surroundings, an object could be as small at 4 meters wide and still be visible at .0072 arc-seconds resolution. However, given the fairly neutral grey background of the moon, it is highly unlikely that something left behind would shift the contrast balance enough to color the pixel.

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839208)

I agreed with everything until the last sentence. The astronauts left behind a lander in shinny gold foil. If that catches sunlight, you should be able to see the 'glint' even if you cannot resolve it. Of course, showing Buba a hot pixel in a Hubble image is not going to convice him that the Apollo missions were not fakes.

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838716)

For proof reasons, you can just aim a laser on the reflective surface astronauts have placed there.
Conspiratorists can analyze the laser to see it isn't a fake one all they want. :-)

And perfect laser reflection-worthy surfaces generally don't appear in nature either. ;-)

Re:Hollywood basement ? (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839216)

Assuming these people are rational can normally be considered a BFM.

Thank goodness (4, Interesting)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838259)

I sure am glad that such a waste of valuable resources like the Hubble is going to be scrapped soon. The sooner we stop doing such useless things with it like valuable research that will directly result in more efficient space travel, the better.

Re:Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838299)

Please mod parent up as insightful sarcasm.

Sarcasm appreciated. (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838335)

Also, I'm sure there's folks in government that's pushing for the manned flight because of a fear that China will get there first. I don't know exactly why that would be a bad thing. To keep others off, they would have to bring weapons and troups. There would have to be some really valuable minerals there to be worth it.

Re:Sarcasm appreciated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838397)

Stop reading science fiction, it's obviously warped your vision of the world.

Re:Sarcasm appreciated. (3, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838460)

they would have to bring ... troups

There's going to be a circus?

Sign me up!

Re:Sarcasm appreciated. (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838530)

There's going to be a circus?

gives a new meaning to "Moon Bounce". And it makes the trapese child's play.

Re:Sarcasm appreciated. (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838811)

Since the only real economic value for lunar minerals and ores involves their use for the Moon-base (returning them to Earth is more expensive than mining them here), setting up a Moon-base to defend said minerals is a circular argument regardless of the value of the minerals.

just send mice (1)

frozencanuck (875563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838265)

Moon explorers will always have cheese to eat

Time to set up a mining colony (4, Funny)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838274)

"We require more minerals"

Re:Time to set up a mining colony (4, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838342)

SCV good to go, Sir!

Re:Time to set up a mining colony (2, Funny)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838345)

as long as we have enough ion cannons for the evitable 'zerg rush

Try This (3, Interesting)

EasyComputer (797633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838287)

Instead of trying to extract raw materials from the moon directly they could try re-engineering some bacteria to live off the stuff actually easily available on the moon and have them excrete some O2, H20 as waste products.

They could then create enclosed areas for harvesting the by-products, might be cheaper. Any Ideas?

Re:Try This (0, Troll)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838846)

.. re-engineering some bacteria to live off the stuff actually easily available on the moon ..

I think your time would be better spent trying to genetically engineer flying pigs that eat human waste then shit Rold Golds and piss Heineken.

cool, took long enough (1)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838288)

mine the moon already!

Seriously, this is good news.  The rovers planned later should send some nice live pictures for the kids at home.  The sooner we use resources off-planet the better.

props to the NASA team.

Article was light on images... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838289)

here's some more [google.com] .

Zoom (3, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838290)

I wasn't aware Hubble could focus to so close of an object. Anyone have details about this?

Re:Zoom (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838309)

The Discovery Channel apparently does. It's linked to by the submitter. :)

Re:Zoom (2, Insightful)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838337)

Define close???
The Hubble orbits 350 miles above the earth and the average distance to the moon is 238,857 miles.

I'd hardly consider 238,500 (apprx) miles very close =-)

It's all relative (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838361)

That's only about 10^{-8} parsecs, though.

Re:Zoom (4, Insightful)

WhiteBandit (185659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838443)

Define close???
The Hubble orbits 350 miles above the earth and the average distance to the moon is 238,857 miles.

I'd hardly consider 238,500 (apprx) miles very close =-)


Considering the Hubble routinely examines objects hundred of millions to billions of light years away from Earth (See the See the Hubble Deep Field survey [stsci.edu] ), I'd consider ~239K miles to be right the fuck on top of. ;)

Re:Zoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838935)

How much do you know about focal lengths, lens, and the like? Are you an expert or just a smart ass? Do some research and think about what I asked you.

Re:Zoom (5, Informative)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838400)

I worked on HST software but it was years ago so I may be a bit off base but here is what I recall.

The Cameras on the Hubble don't really focus like we think of with a 35mm camera. They take exposures of various durations and with certain filters in place. Then the raw data is postprocessed on the ground and based on the raw data, the wavelength filters, etc. then "image" is constructed.

With the UV "camera" what they would be doing is taking a (TBD time) open shutter picture of the moon with the filters set to only let UV wavelengths pass to the detectors. The detectors will record the intensity of the light hitting each "pixel" of the camera ("binning") and send that data to the ground for processing. If you go to NASAwatch.com there is an article about this that actually links to the experiment definitions, process, etc that was submitted by the researcher in order to get the (very limited) time with the Instrument.

Re:Zoom (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838430)

but it cant focus on things smaller than 60 yards across...?

Re:Zoom (1)

X-rated Ouroboros (526150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838746)

Computer imaging and enhancement doesn't really work like a camera. It works more like a biological vision system by taking multiple sets of data and interpolating them to yeild a best fit... like if you look at a really pixelated still image, you can't tell what it is, but if you look at a bunch images of the same object that are all pixelated slightly differently, you can figure out what it's supposed to look like.

Theoretically, the resolution is arbitrary- it's just a matter of how much raw data you can collect and process.

Re:Zoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838645)

Whenever some moon hoax nut comes out of hiding, they always say "point the hubble at the moon and image the landing sites!" and the rebuttal always is "You can't point the hubble at the moon -- it's too bright and would destroy the sensitive imaging in the hubble"... well except now that seems to be untrue. So what is it?

Re:Zoom (1)

uberdave (526529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838742)

I always thought the rebuttal was "It doesn't have the resolution to see objects that small".

You just know.. (1)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838291)

They're going to use the moon as some sort-of nuclear byproduct dumping site or something eventually. At least, once Microsoft buys half of it and McDonalds 1/4 of it. Wait.. I remember a site where you could buy land on the moon.. wtf?

Space 1999 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838406)

Dear god man, no! Didn't you see what happened in 1999 when there was an explosion and the moon was torn out of earths orbit and flung into outer space!

http://www.space1999.org/ [space1999.org]

Re:You just know.. (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838573)

At $10,000/lb to reach orbit, I don't think any heavy metals are going there for storage purposes. Now if radioactive materials could be mined on the moon, and reactors built, it might make sense to beam laser light to solar collectors in orbit to power satelites. Not so sure about dispersion losses going through the atmosphere (to say nothing about birds or planes that wander into said beams...hehehe).

Re:You just know.. (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839292)

Would using lasers be as efficient as microwaves? If I remember
correctly, a rectenna can convert 90% of the energy contained
in microwaves into electricity.

The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (3, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838317)


I've always liked Hubble, not only for pushing back the bounds of our knowledge (and more importantly our ignorance, its made us realise there is much more we don't understand) but also for the very very cool pictures that get people interested in science.

This is a very useful and productive use of Hubble... but will it help it get more funding? I'm not sure that the chaps in the Whitehouse will get excited about finding rocks on the Moon unless they can claim that THIS was where Saddam had is WMDs.

Rock A - No oxygen
Rock B - No oxygen
Rock C - No oxygen
Rock D - A bit of metal
Rock E - A bit of oxygen
Rock F - No oxygen

When they find something the photo is going to be rubbish, even worse than when scientists try and get people excited about red dust on Mars.

I suggest that they do the colouring job on the Moon that they always do on the star systems, and make it look way cooler...

"Rock X not only has a large amount of gold, shown in gold, and oxygen, shown in blue, but also various other minerals, show in pretty rainbow colours and is resting on a mauve background which represents the futility of mans existance and the desire to expand our knowledge"

Re:The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838492)

Oxides make up a large part of the moon crust, and oxides contain... oxygen! Nearly everything in the solar system is oxydized! Iirc the metals are more seperated, with some areas containing more iron and others containing more aluminium.

I wonder what's Hubble's spatial resolution; I think an orbiter would do a much better job.. Wouldn't they better let LRO(Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) do the mapping and concentrate on things that Hubble is good at, especially as time is running out?

Re:The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (3, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838502)

What are you going to complain about when W is not longer in the whitehouse?

Re:The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838598)

I suspect we'll be complaining about the GW-deficits for generations. It isn't just being there, it is the long-term effects that linger long after, like the stench of a public dorm bathroom around finals. Smell the fear and hysteria? Yep...I knew you could.

Re:The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838825)

What are you going to complain about when W is not longer in the whitehouse?

Hilary, of course.

And the first first man.

Re:The worlds most boring holiday snaps... (1)

StupidHelpDeskGuy (636955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839301)

The damage that he's done to our economy, environment, our standing in the world, etc.

A little OT but... (0, Offtopic)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838332)

I wish we could have a hybrid approach to space flight. Start with an electro-magnetic rail gun to launch bulk supplies and massy stuff (girders, sheet metal, oxygen, water, spare fuel) into orbit, coupled with rocket launches to carry fragile stuff (people, computers). With cheap bulk-to-orbit, put together a real space station and get working on the space elevator from the top down.

While we're up there, how about we start work on power satellites? We can reduce the cost of electricity, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and fight global warming in one fell swoop! Once we have cheap bulk-to-orbit lots of things become feasible. The first private company to achieve this cheaply will be disgustingly profitable.

Why, oh why could't I have been born filthy rich?

Re:A little OT but... (1)

Admiral Ackbar 8 (848624) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838363)

Totally agree on the rail gun. It could at least get rockets up to speed so all that precious fuel used at the beginning of the flight is saved.

Re:A little OT but... (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838380)

While we're up there, how about we start work on power satellites?

If you can get the math to work and sweet talk some venture capitalists then by all means do so. Believe me, people are trying. The numbers just don't work out well. Oil, or any other energy source, is cheap by comparison. The launch costs and inefficiencies in the energy transfer back to earth just don't correlate into profit.

Winds up being the same story with the rail gun. Good idea, in principle, but the devil is in the details.

-everphilski-

Re:A little OT but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838489)

Oil, or any other energy source, is cheap by comparison. The launch costs and inefficiencies in the energy transfer back to earth just don't correlate into profit.

The problem with this complaint, and everyone else who says "oh, if oil gets expensive, we'll just do something else!" is that when oil gets expensive, we will all be fucked.

How are you going to afford launch your "cheap" power satellites when oil is $1000 a barrel? How are you going to get your "cheap" tar sand oil when the machinery to extract it drinks deeply from the last few barrels? The list goes on and on and on, all sorts of ideas that just aren't "economical" now, but when we're desperate for energy, someone will pull ready-built equipment out of their ass to save us all. Windmills will grow fully-formed on the spot so nobody will have to transport large pieces of metal from the factory to the site. Tar sands will suddenly erupt with geysers spraying so much oil we won't know what to do.

Re:A little OT but... (2, Interesting)

DougWebb (178910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838709)

When/if oil (and coal, and natural gas) get too expensive, we'll shift our electricity generation away from those fuels and towards nuclear. Between direct use of electricty, and the generation of hydrogen for a portable fuel source, we can do/build everything we need.

Of course, these commodities aren't just used as fuels; oil provides lubrication, plastics, and lots of other refined products. Most of those can be obtained through recycling though, especially if there is plenty of electricty. Also, when the reserves got low, we'd stop using the stuff as fuel and conserve what's left for these other uses.

Re:A little OT but... (2, Informative)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838776)

Which is why we should be building nuclear reactors to produce cheap hydrogen *now*, not 10 years from now. Maybe small ones on boats [mosnews.com] , that could also distill potable drinking water, as well as produce electricity for local consumption [nuclear.com] . and so why not hydrogen [tribune-democrat.com] for non-local (fuel) use, too?

Interested? more information here [google.com]

Re:A little OT but... (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838407)

Because then you'd be filthy rich as well as digustingly ignorant.

Re:A little OT but... (2, Funny)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838479)

Did you just call me disgustingly ignorant? Not that I necessarily disagree, I just think it was premature.

Re:A little OT but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838516)

Why not take a Boeing 747, replace a couple of the engines with rocket motors, so that a normal aircraft takeoff occurs, then once it reaches maximum altitude for the jet engines, the rocket motors are activated instead. Would it be possible to get into Earth orbit that way?

The Moon - A Rediculous Liberal Myth! (0, Troll)

Keith Curtis (923118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838347)

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "Mars" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "Mars" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "Mars" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "Mars" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the Mars", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "Mars" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

What happens when... (0)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838367)

we find out that's no moon!

Obligatory Dan Quayle Quote: (-1, Troll)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838417)


(Its about Mars and not the Moon of course, but I couldn't resist)

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

        -- Vice President Dan Quayle

____________________________

America F*ck Yeah!

Re:Obligatory Dan Quayle Quote: (2, Funny)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838693)

I never paid much attention to Quayle quotes when they were originally made, but he's almost as good as W. I like these:

"It isn't pollution that is hurting the environment, it's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure."

"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system!"

Since it's almost Halloween, I figured I'd go ahead and post a warning I found while searching for the exact Quayle quote:

"Caution: Cape does not enable user to fly." -Batman costume warning label

Polishing Up A Mistake? (1)

chromozone (847904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838450)

After NASA's new directore Michael Griffin recently called the space shuttle and space station "mistakes" I would bet that this story was cultered-up to soften his comments. From http://www.wftv.com/news/5032927/detail.html [wftv.com] KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- There were stunning comments made Wednesday by NASA's new leader: Michael Griffin believes the space shuttle and the international space station programs were mistakes. Now, Space Coast workers are firing back. People at Kennedy Space Center were generally shocked to read what Griffin said. NASA's administrator has said before he believed the shuttle was flawed, but 14 people gave their lives to the shuttle program and other people who devoted their lives said Griffin went too far. "I saw that this morning and immediately spilled coffee all over myself," said Charles Mars. Mars spent years working on the planning and development of the space shuttle and the space station and when he read NASA's administrator called the programs a mistake, he took it personally. "You know, I get angry. I can't believe I was working on a mistake. Two mistakes, shuttle and the space station. No, not a mistake," Mars said.

Re:Polishing Up A Mistake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838564)

Just because someone spent a lot of time on something doesn't mean that that something wasn't a mistake.

Re:Polishing Up A Mistake? (1)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838740)

A key quote from that story you linked to was this: "It could give the perception the space program wasted hundreds of billions of tax dollars."

In this case the perception is reality. Any technical spinoffs from the shuttle program came early on in its development. The program has just been about keeping people's government jobs for about the last twenty years.

Re:Polishing Up A Mistake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13839177)

There's a nice poster in my calculus class that reads:

"An error only becomes a mistake if no effort is made to correct it."

So, in it would probably be safer to say that the NASA, etc. projects were perhaps errors, although we certainly learned that we should be doing things differently. However, I wouldn't even call the programs errors. They did what they were meant to do (for the most part). If the programs didn't work at all, it'd be a mistake. However, we can learn from how the programs didn't live up to their expectations and improve.

End Ramble.

"Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear" (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838451)

A classic cartoon: http://dennisglass.com/cartoons15.html [dennisglass.com]

So did they have to use a flash to get a pic of the dark side of the moon?

Re:"Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear" (1)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838988)

You are a moron.

The object in the mirror is an eyeball, not the moon.

Mooninites (1)

waterlogged (210759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838459)

And the only thing we get a clear image of is a blocky looking dude flicking us off as hard as he possibly can.

Re:Mooninites (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838639)

bow down to the digital ruler

Mine asteroids instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838467)

Why ruin the moon by mining it? Asteroids have way more resources anyway. The moon should be maintained as a tourist locale and dirty work should stay on asteroids.

Re:Mine asteroids instead (2, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838520)

That's kinda like running around in a large field hunting rabbits with a stone club, while there's a large flock of sheep walking around in your back yard.

Re:Mine asteroids instead (1)

greenpenguin (859340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838718)

Sheep killer! [pascalgame...opment.com]

Re:Mine asteroids instead (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838877)

Actually, the analogy would be better if you reversed the roles of the sheep and rabbits. The Moon is quite poor in most of the things that would be useful to us, like ores. (Most of the metals that ought to have been in the Moon ended up in the Earth due to the way the Moon (probably) formed.) So asteroids are far juicier targets for mining, but they're harder to get to. Particuarly if you are thinking of having a Moon base anyway. (Unfortunately, the only way ANY of these resources make economic sense is for off-planet uses. So saying we need a base on the Moon or on an asteroid to mine the materials is circular without other justifications for being there.)

If there is a Republican president in 2008... (0, Troll)

arpk4n3 (919729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838484)

Dibs!

Is NASA trying to make geeks look bad? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838532)

All this time, geeks on Slashdot have been telling people that the Hubble isn't equipped to look at the Moon, and that it can't resolve a detail as fine as the Apollo landers.

I haven't RTFA, so I assume it's looking for minerals through some sort of spectographic analysis, much like we use telescopes to determine the matter composition of distant light sources like stars?

No, NASA is not trying to make geeks look bad. (0, Troll)

douglips (513461) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838821)

There are well known principles of physics that prevent the Hubble from seeing anything clearly. You just have to do the math:

Rayleigh Criterion [gsu.edu]

Between that and Google Calculator, you can figure out how big a mirror you need to be able to see a 1 meter wide object on the moon. The moon is 250,000 miles away, so the angle subtended by such an object is

a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=arcsin% 281+m+%2F+250000+miles%29+in+radians&btnG=Google+S earch">2.5 x 10^-9 radians.

Plugging that in for the desired angle in the Rayleigh Criterion equation, you can see that you need a mirror of almost 300 meters [google.com] in diameter to resolve this image. That's 1000 feet. The Hubble has a mirror that is about 8 feet wide.

Re:Is NASA trying to make geeks look bad? (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838923)

Pretty much, yes. It's even more akin to how mineral deposits and surface compositions are determined from orbiting satellites here on Earth or on other solid bodies. (Jovian moons, for example.)

I'll assume that the first paragraph was a dead-panned joke.

Re:Is NASA trying to make geeks look bad? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839051)

"I'll assume that the first paragraph was a dead-panned joke."

All my yokes die in the pan, I over-fry them.

The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (5, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838575)

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

Re:The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13838817)

while slightly ammusing your little story is also moronic. It fails to deal with the fact that the "moon" has been around and recorded for a lot longer than anything we have made that could sustain flight. If you going to make a joke, make one that isn't just plain stupid.

I remember... (3, Interesting)

Anonym1ty (534715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838818)

What happened? I remember when we were told that aiming Hubble at the Moon or the Earth would destroy it's sensitive instruments.

Re:I remember... (2, Interesting)

faxafloi (228519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839284)

What happened? I remember when we were told that aiming Hubble at the Moon or the Earth would destroy it's sensitive instruments.

Hubble can do short images of the moon with no problem, aside from the challenge of guiding. It does images of the earth all the time. These are called earth calibrations and they serve as the basis of flat fields with which HST images are calibrated. You can't see anything in them, though, because the earth is too close to focus on, and the telescope is moving at ~300 miles/min, so the images are just blurry streaks across cloud tops. That's why they make good flat fields.

Not long after launch, HST did some "imaging" of the sun. The idea was to point the telescope 180 degrees away from the sun while using a small backwards-pointing light collector on the original WF/PC to pre-flood the CCD with solar ultraviolet. It never got used , though. HST Proposal 1478: WF/PC UV FLOOD GUIDING TECHNIQUE VERIFICATION [stsci.edu] , if you're interested. Here's an example image [stsci.edu] .

So the only major solar system object that HST has never imaged-besides the objects we don't know about-is Mercury. It's too close to the sun. The aperture door will close if we try to point there.

Key points from the actual article (5, Interesting)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838832)

"The latest lunar prospecting first required aiming Hubble at Apollo landing sites and looking with special filters that showed only subtle UV signatures reflected by soils there.
By then comparing the Hubble data to actual laboratory-studied samples that astronauts brought back from the same sites, they were able to get a clear idea just how these same minerals look through Hubble's eye. The Hubble Space Telescope can discriminate very subtle color differences on the surface," said planetary scientist Mark Robinson of Northwestern University. So subtle that Hubble can see mineralogical differences in rocks that look identical in color to the human eye, he said."

So the Hubble can in fact discern with a usable degree of precision....

"At Aristarchus, Hubble detected what appeared to be an abundance of the mineral ilmenite, which is good news, said NASA lunar scientist Michael Wargo. By heating or passing an electrical current through ilmenite, it's a simple matter to release oxygen, which can be used for breathing and for rocket fuel, he explained."

It will be easy to extract at least one useful element....

Ahhh...I'll just include the rest of the article.

"In some ways the Hubble prospecting is just the bare beginning of the next phase of lunar exploration, said Garvin. The next step will be taken by the robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is being built to map out the moon's resources in details.

A second lunar probe is also being planned, all before the planned return of humans to the moon by about 2018, as directed by President George W. Bush's vision for humans in space.

In a sense, said Robinson, the Hubble prospecting experiment is giving scientists the first taste of how to interpret the deluge of lunar data that will be coming from those spacecraft.

"It will be a Niagara Falls of data," he said. "This is really going to jump start our ability to understand this data.""

So this Hubble use is part of what seems to me to be a sound plan for preparing to build a base on the moon.

Make the Moon into Swiss Cheese? (1, Informative)

BoldAndBusted (679561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13838992)

So, has there been any substantive discussion about how we might not want to look up at the Moon and have it begin to actually look like Swiss Cheese? Why would we want to destroy such an object that we have seen the same face of since Humans began (whether that's 10,000 years ago, or 1 million...)? Do we really want to see strip mines when we look up at the Moon? Or the lights of night mining operations breaking the apparent illusion of "phases of the Moon"? Will we only mine the side of the moon facing away from Earth?

Many people were very upset when the Taliban in Afghanistan blew up the great Bamiyan Buddha statues, carved over 2,000 years ago. The Moon was made over 4 billion years ago. Isn't it worth decrying defacement of the Moon *even more* than those comparatively young works of art?

If we pointed it at England could I say... (1)

Astronomypete (794675) | more than 8 years ago | (#13839007)

I can see my house from here!

Cu8 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13839131)

move any Equipment
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>