Moon Water Is Young
The water detected on the moon by orbiters can only last thousands of years, not billions.
A NASA press release says, “Inside Dark, Polar Moon Craters, Water Not as Invincible as Expected, Scientists Argue.” An animation at the top shows why: meteoroids and the solar wind destroy it.
Unlike Earth, with its plush atmosphere, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect its surface. So when the Sun sprays charged particles known as the solar wind into the solar system, some of them bombard the Moon’s surface and kick up water molecules that bounce around to new locations.
Likewise, wayward meteoroids constantly smash into the surface and uproot soil mingled with frozen bits of water. Meteoroids can hurtle these soil particles — which are many times smaller than the width of a human hair — as far as 19 miles (30 kilometers) away from the impact site, depending on the size of the meteoroid. The particles can travel so far because the Moon has low gravity and no air to slow things down: “So every time you have one of these impacts, a very thin layer of ice grains is spread across the surface, exposed to the heat of the Sun and to the space environment, and eventually sublimated or lost to other environmental processes,” said Dana Hurley, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
Planetary scientists had thought the moon’s water was “invincible” because it appeared to be locked up in polar craters that are in constant shadow. At those locations, the temperature can be -388° F – the coldest temperatures known in the solar system! The water seemed safe there. A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters challenges that assumption, arguing that constant bombardment moves the water around the moon where it becomes exposed to destructive processes.
Lunar water does not exist in pools, obviously. Remote sensing from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and other spacecraft implied that icy water molecules in the cold traps are mixed in with lunar soil as “frost” or combined with minerals. Scientists are unsure how deep the icy deposits go in the craters.
Future manned missions to the moon may depend on the availability of water. Since it would be very difficult to retrieve it from the shadowed craters at the poles, the scientists were glad to find that impacts might be scattering the molecules around the moon where they could be retrieved more easily. Exposed to sunlight, though, they could not last long. How old is the water that satellites detected?
While it’s important to consider that even in the shadowed craters water is slowly seeping out, it’s possible that water is being added, too, the paper authors note. Icy comets that crash into the Moon, plus the solar wind, could be replenishing it as part of a global water cycle; that’s something scientists are trying to figure out. Additionally, it’s not clear how much water there is. Is it sitting only in the top layer of the Moon’s surface or does it extend deep into the Moon’s crust, scientists wonder?
Either way, the topmost layer of polar crater floors is getting reworked over thousands of years, according to calculations by Farrell, Hurley, and their team. Therefore, the faint patches of frost that scientists have detected at the poles using instruments such as LRO’s Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) instrument could be just 2,000 years old, instead of millions or billions of years old as some might expect, Farrell’s team estimated. “We can’t think of these craters as icy dead spots,” he noted.
The article mentions replenishment of the water as a “possible” phenomenon, but admits that nobody knows. Imagining a “global water cycle” on the moon seems like special pleading to keep the moon billions of years old. How often do icy comets come in? Only comets whose icy water molecules reach the cold traps could replenish them. How many billions of lucky comets would be required to keep as much water there as is observed today?
The solar wind is more predictable, but once again, any water generated by the process has to reach the cold traps, too – and those cold traps are not “icy dead spots” as previously thought. The shadowed craters are losing their water. Day and night, constantly, meteoroids from tiny to mighty blast the water molecules up and away into sublimation Hades.
The Reasonable Inference
In short, loss processes are confirmed by observation, but additive processes are only speculative. More measurements will be required to determine which processes predominate. Till then, science should go with observation. Scientists can no longer assume that the water is safe from destruction in the shadowed craters. The reasonably-known destruction rates support a young moon.
Did you notice how the press release tiptoed around the evidence for youth? Any evidence causing problems for billions of years cannot possibly be entertained by secular materialist moyboys, but they have to respect measurable facts. Read the quotes above again, and feel the tension in their predicament.