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Vast Static Charge on the Moon...

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posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by Korg Trinity

I think you're still not comprehending...

it's the best part of half a century and we haven't done anything on the moon at all..... Except bomb it and send a probe in very very recent times.

Not even a Rover????

Why waste money for a "Rover" on the Moon?

The six Apollo landings provided a substantial sampling, and brought back a great deal of material to study. Over 860 pounds (by Earth weight) total.

BTW...Russians successfully landed devices (robotically) that returned some Lunar samples, too. (Or, are you denying that also?)

They brought back a total of, if I remember correctly, about 175 grams.

Still, IF there is so much static electricity, and it would interfere so much with the spacecraft, HOW did their machines function successfully?

As to "bomb"ing it...if you're referring to the LCROSS mission, it was partly in preparation for the (then planned) manned return, with the goal of a permanently manned base at some point. Since NONE of the Apollo missions went to the Lunar poles (for mission safety reasons, and practicality at the time, due to equipment limitations) the question of possible water ice existing was needing answers.

Anyway, ANY manned endeavours, outside of LEO, are still very, very costly. In terms of potential dangers to the Astronauts, of course. But, also, politically and financially. There just isn't, yet, a viable "pay off" potential, not unless someone (politician, or government, or corporation) has enough b**lls to consider the long-term (and, it could be a generation we're talking, here).

Pres. Obama, when he 'canceled' the Aries and Bush's Moon plans, merely re-directed the focus somewhat farther. (Mars). I'm on the fence as to the best course...I think a commitment to a Lunar base is important, especially as a launching point for the outer planets (and inner, too). However, a much improved orbital platform could accomplish the same task at much less cost.

Still, Pres. Obama's plan seems a bit naive -- unless he is privy to, and keeping under wraps for now, some sort of breakthrough in radiation shielding (for the MANY months travel time), and propulsion technology. Not to mention the sustained micro-gravity problem. Could be resolved by spinning the spacecraft, of course, but that leads to more difficulties, or increased complexity, at the very least.

Also, I am puzzled by the announcement of a trip TO Mars, manned, just to 'look', ('proof of concept'?), then a return with no landing! (?) Now, THAT would be a waste of resources.

...needs its own thread, sorry....wrapping up here. Over.

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 05:52 PM
reply to post by weedwhacker

Pres. Obama, when he 'canceled' the Aries and Bush's Moon plans, merely re-directed the focus somewhat farther. (Mars). I'm on the fence as to the best course...I think a commitment to a Lunar base is important, especially as a launching point for the outer planets (and inner, too). However, a much improved orbital platform could accomplish the same task at much less cost.

I keep stressing this point also, the moon is on the way to all places in the solar system.

The first good step to exploring the Solar system is bases in the moon. If we cannot get there, how do they expact to get to mars?

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 06:10 PM
reply to post by Korg Trinity

Calm down the Korg thing was done as a pun why have we not gone back various reasons do we need to at the moment for one ,next target is mars after mars they may decide its time to set up a base on the moon.
I really hope they do that then maybe we will get an end to all the BS threads on here re the moon hoax but to be honest EVEN if NASA took you guys to the Moon you would claim that was faked!
You were the one that started this thread just admit you miss read the static values and they are NO way near what you claimed its a simple mistake anyone could have made.
By the way I am not a trekkie but you spotted the intention re the Korg SORRY Borg

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 06:34 PM
Korg, I've been reading through this thread and I couldn't resist butting in. You know, looking at it casualy, I can see where you'd get the idea that Apollo astronauts landing on the moon would get a big static surprise. But the conditions for the astronauts are completely different than when you're walking across a nylon carpet on a dry day and touch a doorknob. First, as others have pointed out, on the moon, there's no significant atmosphere to carry the discharge. And second, since they're landing on the lit side, the ultraviolet from the sun will ionize materials so that high voltage potentials dissipate and can't build up.
And as for the conspiracy theory that the moon landings were hoaxed, I think that's been debunked enough times already. Here's one from Mythbusters on Youtube
(sorry, the auto-embedding was disabled for this video)

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:32 AM
I'm not going to weigh to much into the apollo thing. But having a keen interest in electrical environment of the moon I have to add some recent additions to the new emerging view of the moon.

It seems that the topology of the moon also has a great impact on the electrical environment. Especially the polar regions it appears.
As the solar wind brushes the surface of the moon the lighter electrons collect in the craters ahead of the ions. This builds up a charge difference between the crater and the reguglar lunar surface, quite a considerable one it seems. Enough to warrant concern about human activity.

So once you enter the crater you loose that electrical grounding.
I've heard one scientist say that you'd have to take one step then wait a hundred seconds or so to step again!!

I'll see if i can find the article later if there is any doubt.

I've spoken about the electrical effects on the moon before, it can explain many so called anomalies. Those flashes that have been seen since well as far as can be remembered, they're electric discharges. One day they'll realize that the lunar landscape is in fact shaped by electrical forces and craters are something more than impact scars.

I know the last bit is not accepted science,
but neither were the electrified craters until now.

[edit on 27-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:47 AM
Here we go...

Lunar Craters May Be Electrified

I must add it includes a video that is highly relevant to what is being discussed here.

So reader beware the conclusions drawn in this thread are by no means conclusive.

[edit on 27-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:58 AM

Originally posted by Phage

No. It won't flatten a human
Depending on what you're wearing, here's what you can generate in your car seat.
* Nylon clothes: 21,000 volts
* Wool clothes: 9,000 volts
* Cotton clothes: 7,000 volts

I don't think anyone has died from a static spark. Have they?

No, but this thread has been killed by a few bright sparks, much brighter then the OP.

EPIC just doesn't do this fail any justice.

[edit on 27-4-2010 by Derised Emanresu]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:30 AM

I believe we didn't walk on the moon.

Denialism is ignorance. It's a shame we have so many deniers of one of mankind's greatest achievements.

Thanks though for the cool article about the moon's static electricity.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by squiz

The article you linked to talked about the possibility that Lunar craters may gain a static charge of hundreds of volts. I can make thousands of volts just by shuffling my feet on the carpet. Doing so does not cause me to explode and create any earth craters. 4000 volts is quite common and 12,000 volt static sparks generated by human movement is not unheard of. Lunar craters with perhaps hundreds of volts is something so weak that you would not even feel the shock.

Too much hype and not enough charge worth mentioning. Lunar craters are not caused by electrical discharge of a few hundred volts of static electricity.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:13 PM
That Would Be Funny, If somewhere along the lines of reading ancient pictograph's human's discovered that the moon was used as a energy source and that the pyramids were used to focus the energy into specific uses although it was small it could be stored in certain containers to be combined for bigger uses.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by Korg Trinity

Although on a seperate issue, it creates a very convienient power source

I have seen a discussion with Haogland about possible machines deep beneath the surface. Very esy way to provide energy if the charge can be channelled.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by Terapin

I guess you missed the part about not being electrically grounded when entering the crater or having to wait 100 seconds per step. I also have to say I mentioned nothing about being electricuted. The major concern is for the equipment. And since the astronaughts lifes rely on it well...

And nothing in that lot is personal opinion, it's all from NASA. Except for my last remarks which I explained as non standard theory.

Are You guys are so defensive about the apollo stuff you refuse to even accept new discoveries. I don't even care about that argument. The apollo astronaughts where not at the polar regions were they? Give it a rest please.

Ha, I add some highly relevant research from official sources probably the only one so far, except for the OP, and I get critisiced for it. How typical.

One for you too
You'd know of course. Just join the choir and keep singing along

[edit on 27-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 08:41 PM
reply to post by squiz

The NASA information you linked to is indeed an interesting bit of physics, but again it was over hyped. There is no mention of having to wait 100 seconds between steps nor of losing grounding as you mentioned. It does mention the possibility of a small weakly charged electron "cloud" building up near the edge and perhaps effecting dust. Grounding is not effected by this. Due to lack of moisture on the Moon, Lunar grounding is not as good as on Earth, but the physics of grounding static charges still applies. The cloud of electrons that is generated is not in contact with the lunar surface, but NASA equipment and personnel are. Any talk of craters exploding from a few hundred volts of electricity is fantastical to the extreme.

The charge mentioned in the article is still extremely minor and easily shielded. It is not something you would even feel a shock from as it is well below that threshold.

Yes, there is static electricity on the Moon. There is on Earth as well. The manner in which it is generated on the Lunar surface is quite interesting indeed, and it is worth further study. No need to run rampant with talk about exploding craters, being immobilized for almost two minutes between steps, or ignoring physics. The highly abrasive Lunar dust is far more problematic than a simple static charge. Factor in static cling with the Lunar dust and THEN it could become an issue. Unlike the dust one finds in Earth deserts, on the Moon the dust is much sharper as there is no weathering to soften it's edges. It is a significant problem for Lunar exploration and designing flexible joints that will withstand the abrasion is serious work.

Is NASA all that worried about static charges damaging Lunar micro electorincs? Well consider this Nasa Project being developed as we speak:

I know one of the engineers working on Project M and they are making great progress. I have worked on projects related to the Mars Rover missions in conjunction with JPL, and can assure you that they know what they are doing when it comes to such design issues.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:18 PM
The other information I refered to is in the video, this is where they talk about the human element and potential hazards.

The information (as I see it) is primarilay concerned with the polar regions where the effect would most likely be evident. Watch the video for the other bits you couldn't find.

I have to say again, I was just summarizing the article and video. It's all there.

Like I said I was not siding with anyone here regarding the apollo missions.
I just find the electrical implications fascinating. And yes we are finding out that the Moon is a very different environment than previously thought.
I also think it is a little premature to making any solid statements regarding the lunar environment when it's clear we still have quite a way to go.

The envronment would vary on geographical location (possibly the landscape itself), the sun, time, etc... All these things and more I'm sure. Are we confident that man can land and go where ever safely? After all your exposed to these free ions and electrons, that is the environment. Comparisons to earth may be in vain. Luckily they are investigating the hazzards so we don't have to leave it up to forrum posters who tell us it's all perfectly safe. Juz kidding.

Also, respectfully I did not say this was the cause of crater formation.
I suggested an electrical origin but that's a different but related topic.
That part was just my opinion, so you can take it as that. It's not really relevant. Putting out there for the record you could say.

[edit on 27-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:53 PM

The most relevant info is at the end.

"We really do have to worry about human systems entering these craters"

A quote from the NASA guy.
Now just to clarify he is talking about the polar craters. No sides guys Just presenting info, don't kill the messenger because your wrong or at the very least not exactly right.

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by squiz

That's really interesting.

But the problem is not a charge from the Moon's surface. The problem is the astronauts themselves (and their machines) building up a charge of their own by moving around in their spacesuits and rolling over the surface (just like scuffing your shoes on a carpet). It's just as likely to occur in craters at lower latitudes on the Moon as near the poles. Being so poorly grounded when sheltered from the solar wind, the static charge could get quite large. We don't know how large but the danger is really not to the astronaut directly but to the electronics of his life support and communication systems.

BTW, there are possibly some other dangers to men and equipment related to the day/night charge build up...dust storms.

The wall of dust, if it exists, might be diaphanous, invisible, harmless. Or it could be a real problem, clogging spacesuits, coating surfaces and causing hardware to overheat.

[edit on 4/28/2010 by Phage]

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 10:51 PM
Hey guys I found an excellent article that talks about everything that has been discussed here.
Check it out if you want a good grounding.

Crackling Planets

Ponts of interest...

On the Moon and on Mars, conditions are ideal for triboelectric charging. The soil is drier than desert sand on Earth. That makes it an excellent electrical insulator. Moreover, the soil and most materials used in spacesuits and spacecraft (e.g., aluminized mylar, neoprene-coated nylon, Dacron, urethane-coated nylon, tricot, and stainless steel) are completely unlike each other. When astronauts walk or rovers roll across the ground, their boots or wheels gather electrons as they rub through the gravel and dust. Because the soil is insulating, providing no path to ground, a space suit or rover can build up tremendous triboelectric charge, whose magnitude is yet unknown. And when the astronaut or vehicle gets back to base and touches metal--ZAP! The lights in the base may go out, or worse.

On the Moon, "Apollo astronauts never reported being zapped by electrostatic discharges," notes Calle. "However, future lunar missions using large excavation equipment to move lots of dry dirt and dust could produce electrostatic fields. Because there's no atmosphere on the Moon, the fields could grow quite strong. Eventually, discharges could occur in vacuum."

So what's the solution to this problem?

Here on Earth, it's simple: we minimize static discharge by grounding electrical systems. Grounding them means literally connecting them to Earth--pounding copper rods deep into the ground. Ground rods work well in most places on Earth because several feet deep the soil is damp, and is thus a good conductor. The Earth itself provides a "sea of electrons," which neutralizes everything connected to it, explains Calle.

There's no moisture, though, in the soil of the Moon or Mars. Even the ice believed to permeate Martian soil wouldn't help, as "frozen water is not a terribly good conductor," says Landis. So ground rods would be ineffective in establishing a neutral "common ground" for a lunar or Martian colony.

On Mars, the best ground might be, ironically, the air. A tiny radioactive source "such as that used in smoke detectors," could be attached to each spacesuit and to the habitat, suggests Landis. Low-energy alpha particles would fly off into the rarefied atmosphere, hitting molecules and ionizing them (removing electrons). Thus, the atmosphere right around the habitat or astronaut would become conductive, neutralizing any excess charge.

Achieving a common ground on the Moon would be trickier, where there's not even a rarefied atmosphere to help bleed off the charge. Instead, a common ground might be provided by burying a huge sheet of foil or mesh of fine wires, possibly made of aluminum (which is highly conductive and could be extracted from lunar soil), underneath the entire work area. Then all the habitat's walls and apparatus would be electrically connected to the aluminum.

Research is still preliminary. So ideas differ amongst the physicists who are seeking, well, some common ground.

I thought it was worth mentioning this predates the possibility of unusual electrical environments within the craters. And the verification of lightning on Mars. Oops.

[edit on 29-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 10:58 PM
Also another article on electrified craters at Universe Today.

"In a nutshell, what we're finding is that the polar craters are very unusual electrical environments, and in particular there can be large surface charging at the bottom of these craters," said William Farrell from Goddard Space Flight Center, lead author of a new research on the Moon's environment.

Seems the problem in this case could be charge build up in the surface. A little more to consider than just scuffling around.

“The electrons build up an electron cloud on this leeward edge of the crater wall and floor, which can create an unusually large negative charge of a few hundred Volts relative to the dense solar wind flowing over the top,” said Farrell.

The negative charge along this leeward edge won’t build up indefinitely. Eventually, the attraction between the negatively charged region and positive ions in the solar wind will cause some other unusual electric current to flow. The team believes one possible source for this current could be negatively charged dust that is repelled by the negatively charged surface, gets levitated and flows away from this highly charged region. “The Apollo astronauts in the orbiting Command Module saw faint rays on the lunar horizon during sunrise that might have been scattered light from electrically lofted dust,” said Farrell. “Additionally, the Apollo 17 mission landed at a site similar to a crater environment – the Taurus-Littrow valley. The Lunar Ejecta and Meteorite Experiment left by the Apollo 17 astronauts detected impacts from dust at terminator crossings where the solar wind is nearly-horizontal flowing, similar to the situation over polar craters.”

Hmm.... make of it what you will.

[edit on 29-4-2010 by squiz]

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 11:09 PM

Originally posted by Korg Trinity

The ESD would certainly be enough to kill all your computer equipment, the relays to your thrusters and more than likely the micro electronically controlled breathing apparatus.

You have to have some level of understanding of WHY ESD damages things, which may be lacking here if you think that an ESD will kill a relay.

First, what is being damaged? In more modern electronics, it's generally a MOS gate structure. In Apollo, no MOS.

Next, most modern devices are protected against a fair amount of ESD - you can't so much as lift your shoes off of a tile floor without suddenly charging yourself to hundreds of volts. Yet, you can handle most (not all, to be sure) bare devices without any worries. Why? They have internal protection.

I do work with some communication MOS parts that you absolutely cannot handle without specific work bench equipment, because they have no protection at all (it raises the input capacitance, these are VERY high frequency devices, thus no protection)

Most modern assemblies are well protected. Especially in the case of military equipment. They specifically try to bust your stuff in the qual lab with static discharges. If I designed something that's that susceptible, I'd be out on the first pass.

posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 05:05 AM
Using your magnificent powers of tinfoil-topped deduction; could you, amongst other things, explain to me how we aren't all being electrocuted where we stand. Upon the surface of this earth, a celestial body equally as 'charged' if not more so, than the moon?

I am not denying that the moon is statically charged by one thing or another, quite the opposite movement alone would generate static friction even without a 'ESD buildup', however it is without a doubt that with lightening, friction and an atmosphere the earth is positively pulsing with megawatts and giga-amps and all manner of insane forces and yet even with an atmosphere to conduct these fickle powers to earth and back for the vast, vast majority of us it is not an issue.

Why you ask?
I'll tell you, because an electrostatic charge will dissipate to earth at the heaviest (most massive) object it can access, in this case the planet due to its capacity to hold and store the larger charge (harmlessly) like a whopping great battery.

So why would these charges run up the legs of a human effectively 'earthed' to it?
Well, they Don't. Thats Physics. Simples.

Also, take note of the fact that said mars rover was equipped to dissipate static charges into the Atmosphere of Mars. A key component of this equation that sadly our moon is severely lacking. This fact alone means that objects on the moon could only dissipate into the vacuum of space which though not impossible would require a phenomenal buildup of charge.

Further id like to bring it to the attention of all ATS genii posting here that as the moon orbits the earth 13.369 times in a year - as opposed to the single rotation your maths would suggest - the so called 'dark side' of the moon is exposed to the full sunlight, radiation and (assumed) charging properties of the sun approximately 12.3 and thus the moon gets a full blast evenly on all sides and would not posses a heavier charge on any one side for an extended period of time. The 'Dark Side' of the moon you seem to be confusing the shadowed face with is the side which constantly faces away from planet earth which is referred to as 'dark' because humanity had been unable to view it before the advent of modern space exploration.

TL;DR - Playing with Synthesizers does not make you a qualified Astrophysicist.

[edit on 29-4-2010 by tinfoil asshat]

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