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The Moon's Magnetic Umbrellas

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the living-on-the-mooooon dept.

Moon 125

eldavojohn writes "When it comes to space exploration, there are things that are good for humans (water) and things that are bad for humans (radiation). In order for exploration of the moon to occur, its lack of a global magnetic shield to block solar radiation must be addressed. Luckily, scientists have discovered that there are highly magnetized areas of the moon's crust that could shield settlements." From the article: "Current evidence suggests that impact-basin ejecta materials [material blasted out by huge asteroid or comet impacts] are the most likely sources of many or all of the magnetic fields ... These ejecta contain microscopic metallic iron particles that are the carriers of the magnetization."

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hmmm... (3, Funny)

operato (782224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839552)

can't we just hide underneath some rocks? or can radiation get through moon rock since it's made of cheese?

Re:hmmm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839886)

It takes work to hid under rocks. Not as much as it takes to use a shift key, but it still takes some work.

Re:hmmm... (2, Funny)

The Lone Man (1017800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842192)

It takes work to hide under rocks. Not as much as it takes to use an 'e' key, but it still takes some work.

Three words (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839554)

Rediculous Liberal Myth

And not just the umbrellas, the whole moon.

Re:Three words (4, Funny)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839800)

It's a good thing you can't spell ridiculous, or we would have to take you siriusly.

Re:Three words (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839894)

REdiculous? I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to rIdicule you for that one.

Re:Three words (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839928)

No, no, no. It's REDiculous. As in the Reds or Commies. It's not just bad, it's Communist.

Re:Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839914)

Rediculous Liberal Myth

An especially ironic comment when you realize that it's mostly liberal democrats who believe that Apollo was a hoax, and that Bush was behind 911, etc. etc.

I know it probably hurts your ego to face the fact that it's your side that are into this conspiracy stuff, but there it is. The Right has the religious wackos who don't believe in evolution. The Left has the conspiracy nuts.

Re:Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16840502)

It probably will hurt your ego to learn that ridiculous [slashdot.org] liberal [adequacy.org] myths [slashdot.org] are [kuro5hin.org] a [kuro5hin.org] meme [72.14.203.104] and the most popular variant is The "Moon".

This is ridiculous (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839578)

How the fuck can cheese possibly be magnetic!

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839790)

Modern Physics says "Every object possess a wavelength" so they also possess magnatic field, though its very very weak but its there.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840140)

But, scientists continue to be attracted to the mice that eat cheese. Coincidence? I think not.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

unix_core (943019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840650)

That's why the moon is so interesting for science, there's the rich cheese-resoucres needed to feed the mice.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840076)

The Cheese contains water. Water is Diamagnetic so hence the cheese is magnetic.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16841622)

So... you're saying that cheese floats?

TMA-1 (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839648)

I understand there's a large magnetic anomoly in the Tycho crater...

Re:TMA-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839812)

Thats Surveyor 7 then.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_(crater) [wikipedia.org]

Re:TMA-1 (4, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839960)

The parent was a reference to the "Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1," the discovery of the second Monolith in the novel and movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The first monolith was temporarily positioned near the early homo erectus tribes, giving them a sort of gift of wonder and exploration, which immediately translated to tool usage and subsequent dominance over their competing tribes for resources.

The second monolith was a simple beacon to indicate when mankind was ready to travel away from its home planet. It was buried under the crust of the moon, and the ONLY indication it gave to humanity was that it disturbed the natural magnetic flux of an inert rocky ball. Tycho itself may have even been shaped to help lead mankind to it. Once exposed to the vacuum of space, it sent a loud radio signal that would be heard by the likely discoverers as well as lead them to the next monolith breadcrumb.

Of course, Dave Bowman found the third monolith despite the psychotic interference of a computer with competing secret directives.

Re:TMA-1 (2, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840346)

Great. You spoiler you. you just ruined it for me, not there's no point in watching the movie. Haven't you heard of ROT-13 encoding for spoilers?
.
.
.
insensitive clod.

-nB ;)

Re:TMA-1 (2, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841928)

He was trying to be super-secret with his spoilers, so he used double ROT-13.

Re:TMA-1 (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16843836)

After a movie has been out for a number of years, they are no longer considered spoilers. Otherwise, there would be no discussion about any movie at all while a handful of people hold out on seeing the movie(s).

Re:TMA-1 (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840942)

Proof that "evolution" is nothing but science fiction...

Re:TMA-1 (1)

Rudisaurus (675580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842324)

Once exposed to the vacuum of space, it sent a loud radio signal that would be heard by the likely discoverers as well as lead them to the next monolith breadcrumb.
Actually, it was sunlight hitting the previously-buried and newly-excavated TMA-1 monolith that caused it to emit the signal (shown quite clearly in Kubrick's film; see also here [wikipedia.org] ) ... but you've got the gist of it.

Re:TMA-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16844104)

Once exposed to the vacuum of space, it sent a loud radio signal that would be heard by the likely discoverers...

No. Once it was exposed to sunlight which could (almost) only occur if mankind dug it up. Even buried in the ground it was exposed to the vacuum of space.

Is this to be expected ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16839656)

After all, the huge magnetic field deformation created by the buried monolith in Tycho crater should have been a clear indicator that a near-by moonbase could be safely built. Right ?

Sure, it's old news ... all happened just before the Jupiter misson - Discovery, wasn't it, back in 2001 or thereabouts ? They had a HAL900 on board, remember ?

Colonies in huge crater sites? (2, Insightful)

InDi0 (691823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839728)

So the question that remains to be answered is

Do asteroids hit the same spot twice??

Terraforming (2, Insightful)

Pink_Ranger (1024741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839778)

So does that mean that terraforming is out of the question? I mean, even if we could create and hold an atmosphere (impossible for lack of gravity), would the moon remain uninhabitable due to a weak magnetosphere?

Re:Terraforming (4, Interesting)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840040)

Pretty much. The Earth is habitable primarily because of its strong magnetosphere. This magnetic field deflect a large amount of the harmful radiation (and other particles in the solar wind) that would otherwise blow away our atmosphere and fry us all. Now, the whole domed-city concept is still possible, if impractical, and there's always the possibility of building underground and using the lunar surface as a radiation shield - but terraforming? Not really.

Re:Terraforming (2, Interesting)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840684)

The Earth is habitable primarily because of its strong magnetosphere.

Showing my ignorance here but I thought the atmosphere was the key shield against radiation. The magnetic poles switch every so often and while they're switching I thought the magnetosphere pretty much collapses. Yet life appears to go on.

Re:Terraforming (1)

c_woolley (905087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841248)

Not showing ignorance...you are correct. At least that is what evidence shows us. The magnetic sphere surrounding the earth does provide protection from radiation though. Even if the poles switch, the fields deflect radiation (not all of course). Particles in the solar winds that were mentioned above are deflected both by our magnetic shield (think Death Star) and by our atmosphere. So, both of you are correct.

Terraforming would also probably be out of the question since the soil there is made of a really nasty dust that doesn't seem to help trees grow too well...

Re:Terraforming (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842740)

True - the atmosphere does stop some of the radiation, such as how the ozone layer stops UV light. The majority of the radioactive particles are stopped by the magnetic field, with part of it coming in to the atmosphere in the form of the Arora Borealis.

At least, this is how I remember hearing it from that Discovery channel special about the history of the earth.

Cosmic rays and you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16843556)

True - the atmosphere does stop some of the radiation, such as how the ozone layer stops UV light. The majority of the radioactive particles are stopped by the magnetic field, with part of it coming in to the atmosphere in the form of the Arora Borealis.

It's sorta mixed. Cosmic rays are basically high energy protons and heavier ions that are totally stripped of electrons. The lower energy ones are generally part of a fluid flow from the Sun that gets almost totally diverted around the Earth by the Earth's magnetic field. The higher energy ones also get diverted somewhat, but sometimes not enough to prevent their hitting the atmosphere. These aren't actually radioactive, but they are energetic, which is just as bad. They like to get in amongst atoms and cause all sorts of trouble.

Fortunately, basically none of these primary cosmic ray particles that hit the atmosphere will themselves get through to the surface. Because they are made out of protons and neutrons, they participate in the 'strong interaction' (the same thing that holds nuclei together), so it is comparatively easy for them to hit the nucleus of some atom.

But, when the incoming proton hits and interacts with another nucleus, basically two things will happen: it will slow down by a quite a lot, and it will make a whole slew of other particles: kaons, pions, muons, electrons, neutrinos, etc. These are 'secondaries', and some of them may reach the surface.

Of course, if a neutrino reaches the surface, who cares? It will probably pass right through the entire planet without doing a thing. But if a muon or an electron goes into you, ouch! As it passes along, slowing down all the while, it will remove some electrons from molecules, which can cause some chemical changes. Usually it is not a problem, but on rare occasions, this kind of damage will cause cancer. Details about the exact mechanism remain a little mysterious. But the hypothesis is, if it damages some DNA and the DNA is not repaired properly and the cell does not initiate the self-destruct sequence, then you may have a cancerous cell, and you'd better hope that your immune system is up to the challenge.

If you don't like cosmic rays doing this to you, try living at low altitudes. Avoid cities like Denver or Mexico City. There is much less distance of atmosphere above you there, so the secondary particles don't have as good an opportunity to slow down or decay into other particles. Also, you should avoid spending much time flying -- especially on the US-Europe routes that go near the North Magnetic Pole. There is a significantly greater flux of cosmic rays up there. (The South Magnetic Pole has the same problem, but airlines generally don't want to fly you by there.)

Re:Terraforming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16843668)

venus is a smaller body than the earth but it's atmosphere is 100 times denser than the earths

Short List (5, Funny)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839798)

Other things that are bad for humans in space:

Vaccuum
Lack of hospitable worlds within a light-lifetime of Earth
Space junk in LEO
Lack of food/flora/fauna
Lack of easy return trips
Metric/English conversions
Klingons
Frakking toasters
Pod bay doors
Random ion storms which give superhuman powers
Maniacal dictators who for some reason want to use their newest Deus Ex Machina on Earth ...

Re:Short List (2, Funny)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840078)

Random ion storms which give superhuman powers

I thought you said these things were supposed to be bad for humans... if that's the case sign me up, I'll take one for the team here.

Re:Short List (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840144)

I thought you said these things were supposed to be bad for humans... if that's the case sign me up, I'll take one for the team here.

OK, Dr. Von Doom.

Ah ha!

Re:Short List (5, Funny)

Matimus (598096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840394)

...superhuman powers

...I'll take one for the team

I don't think giving superhuman powers to a guy named Apocalypse111 is the best move.

Re:Short List (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842926)

I would respond with something witty, but I'm laughing too hard. Bravo.

Re:Short List (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840590)

Frakking toasters

You'll find that's a hazard on Earth as well. And it leads to some embarrassing questions from the EMTs, let me tell you...

Re:Short List (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841068)

Maniacal dictators who for some reason want to use their newest Deus Ex Machina on Earth ...

So the dictators are going to lower actors on stage with cranes? What's wrong with a little resolution?

Re:Short List (3, Informative)

cruff (171569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841410)

You also forgot:

Self-aware planet destroying bombs
Aliens that look like beach balls with funny feet

Re:Short List (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841956)

Maniacal dictators who for some reason want to use their newest Deus Ex Machina on Earth ...


Don't you mean maniacal directors?

Lunar Magnetic Anomalies? (1)

Soong (7225) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839804)

That'd be much more interesting if the story played out like Mr. A.C. Clarke wrote it. <queue music="Also Spracht Zarathustra" />

Never going to happen (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839856)

We might as well face it... settlements on planets is never going to happen. Couple of reasons:

1) The moon is too ugly and the gravity too light.

2) Mars is ugly too, but even beyond that, it won't be allowed because we won't want to screw up the natural environment for study.

The future of space settlements is space stations floating in space. We can have any environment we want (including green), we can simulate natural gravity via spinning, and we can engineer shielding. Settling other planets is romantic, but impractical, and arguably very few people would want to live on a dead rock anyway.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839952)

Hear! Hear! Hollow out an iron asteroid, move to desired orbit, rinse, repeat. Why climb out of this gravity well to climb down another?

Re:Never going to happen (3, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839966)


1) The moon is too ugly


I guess one man's ugly is another man's beautiful
 
...and the gravity too light.

A plus for most Americans - instantly lose 5/6 of your weight just by relocating

2) Mars is ugly too, but even beyond that, it won't be allowed because we won't want to screw up the natural environment for study.

Can't study it properly if we don't go there. Studying Mars will likely be the justification for any first settlement.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840258)

I guess one man's ugly is another man's beautiful

I'm sure there's *someone* how would enjoy living on a cold, dead rock, just like there are people who choose to live in Antarctica... wait, does anyone choose and/or desire to live in Antarctica? Sure, it's a nice place to visit...

The beauty you speak of is the romance of living on another planet. After the romance is dead, we'll see how many people really want to live there.

A plus for most Americans - instantly lose 5/6 of your weight just by relocating

Yeah, crippling bone density loss would be a huge plus.

Can't study it properly if we don't go there. Studying Mars will likely be the justification for any first settlement.

A carefully constructed station designed for study with absolutely no contamination is not a settlement. A true settlement will NEVER happen. It simply won't be allowed. Mark my words.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Heem (448667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840406)

It simply won't be allowed. Mark my words.

Allowed by who? Seriously. If I happened to have the technology in my backyard, right now, to go to and survive on mars, who is stopping me from settling there or even claiming ownership of part or whole planet?

Re:Never going to happen (1)

KinkoBlast (922676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840654)

Going? No one. Well, the FAA might try, but once you leave Terra, who cares what they think?

Claiming ownership? At least half a billion angry humans, I'm guessing. Possibly the UN, depending on exactly how things work out with laws of your country, and international law.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

fossa (212602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841266)

"Get off this estate."
"What for?"
"Because it's mine."
"Where did you get it?"
"From my father."
"Where did he get it?"
"From his father."
"And where did he get it?"
"He fought for it."
"Well, I'll fight you for it."

-- Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes"

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840746)

If I happened to have the technology in my backyard, right now, to go to and survive on mars, who is stopping me from settling there or even claiming ownership of part or whole planet?

What, do you think your going to just load up your ark spaceship with a pair of every animal and supplies that will last forever? Any sort of settlement is going to need Earth support for centuries before it could be self sustaining, if it EVER could be self-sustaining. And it's not like an undertaking like that is going to be some big secret.

If we get to the technological point where anyone is remotely acting to do it, it will get shut down long before launch. Governments won't want idiots confusing the ownership issue, scientists won't want you screwing up the science, and environmentalists will want preservation. Ain't gonna happen.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841338)

I know there are treaties that prevent any nation from claiming ownership of the moon, but I'm not sure if we have the same for the planets as well.

Anyone know?

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Heem (448667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16843656)

And even if there are, what validity do they have? What right does anyone on earth have to any other planet? Perhaps There is a colony of sentient beings on Venus and they have claimed rights on Mars.. Are we going to hold them liable in a court on Earth?

The whole point people are missing here, is that nobody is there on Mars, that we know of. Mars is not a Nation, it is a planet, so the United NATIONS and any interNATIONAL agreement really has no clout.

I hereby proclaim myself the ruler of Mars

Of course that does not make me the ruler of Mars, because I have never even set foot there. Once that happens, then it's a whole different story.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16844444)

Well, first, I'd say its a safe bet there are no sentient being on Venus. And what right do we have? We live here (here being this solar system) You talk about "clout", but if there is no one there to refute our claim then we have all the clout we need. Sure, if some aliend race flies into our solar system tomorrow and colonizes Venus then I'd agree that they have the right to claim it since we aren't there. These treaties are amonst the people of earth. You can't claim Mars because you will be held subject to internatioal treaty since you DO live here.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Heem (448667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16843828)

"load up your ark spaceship with a pair of every animal and supplies that will last forever? Any sort of settlement is going to need Earth support for centuries before it could be self sustaining"

What if I happened to have knowledge that UNDER the surface of Mars there is plenty of natural resources for me and my small team of settlers to survive on? Just because you don't THINK it's possible, does not mean it's not. The only information we have about Mars right now comes from telescopic views, and quite literally, scratching the surface

"Governments won't want idiots"...

There is no Earth bound government that has ANY right to say that I can't go to Mars and settle there, claim ownership of it, and proclaim that I am the leader of the entire planet.

You may be missing my point and think I'm just some lunatic that thinks he has a spaceship in his backyard. Of course I don't, heck I don't even have a MODEL airplane. But, just because you don't know about someone having one, does not mean it's not possible, or won't happen in our lifetime. And LEGALLY, with the exception of the FAA in the US not allowing me to fly my rocket (I could just put it on a boat and launch from international waters) There is NOTHING that ANYONE can do about it.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16844106)

What if I happened to have knowledge that UNDER the surface of Mars there is plenty of natural resources for me and my small team of settlers to survive on?

That's great -- and exactly how are you going to get all the digging equipment, refineries, and a million other products of civilization that you don't think about over to the planet? Unless you think there is some great supply of food growing underneath the rock, you're not going to have much time to build an industrial civilization before the next supply ship has to get there.

There is no Earth bound government that has ANY right to say that I can't go to Mars and settle there, claim ownership of it, and proclaim that I am the leader of the entire planet.

Actually, they have the right to do anything they want. If you don't agree, feel free to raise your planetary army to defend your view that you own Mars.

And LEGALLY, with the exception of the FAA in the US not allowing me to fly my rocket (I could just put it on a boat and launch from international waters) There is NOTHING that ANYONE can do about it.

What is "legal" in space is whatever the Earth governments say is legal (you might do research into space treaties). Given the choice between respecting the "rights" of some fool claiming to own Mars, and preserving it from being contaminated forever, I suspect the Earth governments are going to err on the side of a "moratorium" on space settlements that gets renewed forever.

Re:Never going to happen (1, Troll)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840414)

A plus for most Americans - instantly lose 5/6 of your weight just by relocating

Huh? Oh, I get it... you are inferring that many Americans are overweight! Ha! That's so clever! And looking around the office right now, it seems you're right! There are overweight people working here! What a hoot! You should do your own comedy bit. Such a funny guy...

Re:Never going to happen (1)

fossa (212602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841378)

Maybe he was referring to the fact that other folks talk about weight [sic] in kilograms, which won't change on the moon ;-) How much do you mass?

Re:Never going to happen (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16842746)

2) Mars is ugly too, but even beyond that, it won't be allowed because we won't want to screw up the natural environment for study.

Can't study it properly if we don't go there.
Spirit and Rover both messaged for you to go stuff yourself.

(Apparently they're Slashdot readers -- who knew?)

Re:Never going to happen (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840054)

Mars is ugly too, but even beyond that, it won't be allowed because we won't want to screw up the natural environment for study.

I don't see why Mars should have it easier than Earth. We have a whole universe to mess around with; fire up the ion drives and let's start sending our genetically modified progeny to start terraforming! Yee-haa!

Re:Never going to happen (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840660)

'Never' is a long time. Given that time frame, why are you limiting potential settlements to the Moon and Mars? There are potentially billions of planets out there and they may not all be 'dead rocks'.

Re:Never going to happen (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840668)

But if we were to find a planet with a sun that enhanced our natural abilities, we could go there to rule; finally, to rule!

Re:Never going to happen (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842992)

We might as well face it... settlements on planets is never going to happen.

They said the same thing about unix on the desktop.

Great settlement idea. (5, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839892)

Let's build our moon colony in the areas where there are strange magnetic readings. And when those colonists disappear mysteriously, we can send in a crack commando team to investigate. This would lead to entertaining action, some mild humor, and perhaps even a little romance.

Re:Great settlement idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16840444)

So, is this going to be a stand up fight, sir, or just another bug-hunt?

Re:Great settlement idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16844446)

Let's build our moon colony in the areas where there are strange magnetic readings. And when those colonists disappear mysteriously, we can send in a crack commando team to investigate. This would lead to entertaining action, some mild humor, and perhaps even a little romance.

Totally implausible. Why would there be a crack commando team on the Moon?

Unless, of course, they had been sent to a lunar prison... by a military court... for a crime they didn't commit...

Hey, maybe you've got something there!

Metamaterial Shielding (1)

w33t (978574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839954)

Please excuse my highly uninformed and profoundly speculative conjecture here.

But in regards to radiation shielding, could the recent advancements in metamaterial technology possibly offer a solution?

After all, there has been recent success with microwave radiation (albiet at a very limited and precise wavelength) - could meta-materials be concieved which block the other popular radation types?

What would be the major hurdles to overcome?

Re:Metamaterial Shielding (1)

avonhungen (108123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842344)

Theoretically, sure - in the sense that an invisibility cloak is theoretically possible. Right now we don't have the technology to make the nanostructures (and when i say nano i mean very nano) necessary for shielding the right EM frequencies.

See current Analog magazine (3, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839958)

Artificial magnetic shielding is surprisingly economical. Big weak fields do a fine job deflecting charged particles, and you can generate them with a superconducting cable around the rim of a crater. Polar craters (where the ice might be) are plenty cold enough for today's high temperature superconductors.

Are the sites ideal for other necessities? (4, Interesting)

Scothoser (523461) | more than 7 years ago | (#16839986)

The article is great, because it does outline the major problem facing permanent settlement on the Moon: radiation. But there are some other necessities that need to be addressed, like reinforcing of the magnetic field during solar flares, the crater's proximity to other elements for the production of power and water, and the need for solar power.

While it's a great start, it doesn't answer all the questions, which leaves scientists and future lunar explorers with a great question: Do they build up a complex network of sites, or continue to try to find the ideal spot?

With increasing pressure from other countries to get to the Moon first, as well as additional programs to settle the moon as a research outpost, the pressure is on. So while this is a great find, and will augment any magnetic solution that mankind could come up with, it's only part of the puzzle. That being said, it is an important part of the puzzle.

Those things are bad for you..... (1)

RMB2 (936187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840022)

While strong magnetic fields might be a benefit in the aforementioned radiation shield application, aren't there certain situations where such an environment might not be a benefit, like working with computers maybe, or being a human?

Re:Those things are bad for you..... (2, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840168)

The magnetic fields in question don't have to be all that strong to defend against radiation - no stronger than the one you've been sitting under for your whole life that is doing the same for you now.

Re:Those things are bad for you..... (1)

avonhungen (108123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842402)

exactly - and last time i checked, magnetic fields aren't bad for people. even really strong ones. eg fMRI...

Re:Those things are bad for you..... (2, Informative)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842828)

I'm not prepared to say that strong magnetic fields are totally harmless (more a reservation about making a statement of absolute fact rather than any belief or proof to the contrary), but at least in so far as the myth that magnetic fields cause cancer, then yes, they're harmless. Magnetic fields are not ionizing radiation.

Curiously Strong Magnets (1)

nahgoe (901302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840034)

Forgive the stupid question, but if all we need is a little magnetic field, wouldn't a few strategically placed Curiously Strong Magnets [thinkgeek.com] solve the problem?

Oblig. (1)

RMB2 (936187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840044)

That's no moon...

I must be a freak then... (3, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840060)

there are things that are good for humans (water) and things that are bad for humans (radiation)

Being a fan of light and heat but not drowning, does that make me a weird human?

As the old saying goes: all things in moderation. Radiation's pretty useful, just as water is. Overwhelm my body with either though and things start to go wrong. In the history of humanity though, I'm guessing more people have died from too much water than too much radiation - if only due to the convenience of access to excess of one and not the other.

Magnetic Anomalies on the Moon (3, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840130)

To: Lightspeed Traveller <lbt@astro-bio.uorion.ac>
From: Ascended Super Thingy <ast@astro-bio.uorion.ac>

I still maintain the point that designing a black monolith in 2001 is
a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not
get a high grade for such a design :-)

AST
Head of Alien Protosocietal Development

Re:Magnetic Anomalies on the Moon (1)

Shai-kun (728212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840790)

ast? Andy, is that you [wikipedia.org] ?

Extend the Earth's Shield? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840134)

Couldn't we just get one of the guys in the engineering drpartment to extend the Earth's magnetic shield out around the moon? I'm quite certain tht I've heard that idea proposed before ...

Re:Extend the Earth's Shield? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16843084)

startrekology at its best?

Dome. (2, Interesting)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840146)

Why Can't they just make a dome over the settlement made out of the same gold coated/embedded glass that is used on space suits? Doesn't it block radiation? Wouldn't the building probably made just like the ISS be able to block radiation? Do we really need astrounauts to procreate anyway?

Re:Dome. (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840324)

Do we really need astrounauts to procreate anyway?

Meanwhile, at the astronaut training center...
Fry: Ow, my sperm!
Bender: Wow, neat. Mind if I try that again? [Points radiation gun at Fry again]
Fry: Huh! Didn't hurt that time.

Is it just me? (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840164)

Or can anyone else see a small dark oblong in the middle of the picture? Kind of like a monolith...

Alternative explanation (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840224)

Those fields are obviously pollution left behind by some fool leaving his Cavorite sphere idling in park. Will someone please think of the Selenites?

Just do what they did in the 60s... (1)

checkonetwo (904618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840304)

Wasn't the question of surviving solar radiation on the moon solved in the 60's. Those guys also figured out how to survive the Van Allen belt, so why don't we just ask them? I'm sure some of the Apollo engineers are still alive.

Re:Just do what they did in the 60s... (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842330)

All astronauts are given a budget for allowable total exposure to radiation (I'm not sure if it's broken down by approximate wavelength or not) over their lifetimes, and also for rate of exposure over shorter time periods. These are correlated to estimated increased risk of developing cancer over their life. For example, an astronaut is allowed something like 6 months of contiguous duty on the ISS and up to 1.5 years over their life. I'm not sure if those are the actual numbers, but they're in the ballpark.

Being much less protected on the moon, the times are shorter. Obviously, shielding would affect the numbers. So if you spent most of your time a few meters underground, you could stay longer.

Just more evidence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16840384)

I guess this is just more evidence that humans have yet to land on the moon.

Wait (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840486)

I thought the moon got knocked out of orbit 7 years ago?


The best part of building near a crater is you are safer from future meteor strikes; it sort of follows the whole "lightening never strikes twice" principle. Speaking of which, I wonder how lightening rods work.....

Re:Wait (1)

ACDChook (665413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16842332)

I wonder how lightening rods work.....
While I can't tell you how a lightening rod works, I'd be more than happy to explain how a lightning rod works.

that still won't help much (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840804)

according to some study, the hole in the ozone layer is causing people to receive significantly higher amounts of radiation on Earth and if it gets any worse, we'd be seeing bad problems because of it. So let's say the ozone layer and atmoshphere were gone completely. We'd pretty much be dead even with the Earth's giant magnetic field so apparently that's not enough. But the good news is that lead suits weigh less on the moon and would be just enough to prevent muscle deterioration :)

Magnetic umbrellas? (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841094)

Magnetic umbrellas?
Listen, fellas.
Stop the rays
Or so they tell us:
Burma Shave

is it just me? (1)

ccbutler (840014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841178)

...or does ejecta on the face bring up a completely different topic of conversation?

TMA-1 (1)

PagosaSam (884523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841232)

I think we might have found TMA-1!

Filthy Astronauts (1)

Megaton Samurai (1027226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841452)

I'm all for a moon settlement. If we're going to have astronauts, last place I want them is here on Earth. A little over a month ago, an astronaut moved into my neighborhood and simultaneously all the leaves died and fell off our oak trees. Go eat your Tang upside-down in space where you belong.

Not a good idea (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841460)

Don't you know what happens when you mix a magnetic field and iron-nickle asteroids floating by? Haven't these scientists ever watched cartoons? Oh, it makes me so angry!

This is what I like to see (1)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841462)

big honkin space magnets.

Abandon hope, moon colonists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16841610)

The whole concept of colonizing the moon is doomed. Oh wonderful, we now have tiny areas with magnetic fields. That's great! That only leaves half a dozen other fatal problems to contend with. There's no water on the moon. There's no atmosphere at all, so everything has to be vacuum proof. Due to this "no atmosphere" thing, lunar dust is made of microscopic sharp edges which makes it more dangerous to humans than the worst mining dust or volcanic dust from earth, and it's also sticky so it gets on everything and will find its way into habitations by clinging to space suits. There isn't enough gravity for humans to maintain normal bone density. And finally what is the economic case for being there, given that it will never be terraformed? Is it He3, for use in fusion reactors that may never work (De + T fusion may be the only reaction that works).

What a collasal waste of money this whole thing is.

Surface?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16841880)

I always imagined that any settlement on a planetary body without atmosphere would occur underground where several meters of rock would help protect you from both temperature and radiation. I imagine Mars is filled with natural caverns, but I don't know about the moon. I'd think we'd be able to tell by using unmanned rovers that have some kind of ground penetrating sonor.

any way, I doubt the surface is the best place to settle on most planets.

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