Daily Orbit – Origins of Water on the Moon

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,568
    5-10-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, how our moon got its water, white dwarf stars could host habitable planets, and a piece of granite could hold the key to Atlantis.

    Emerald Robinson: Why does the moon have water? The tale of a rock-star, finding evidence of Atlantis, and why pets are good for the heart on today's Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit, I'm Emerald Robinson. Looks like the moon got water from its Mother Earth. Though still dry compared to Earth, lunar rock samples contain a surprising amount of water. It's been long believed that the moon formed when a large object collided with the still-forming Earth, ejecting massive amounts of material into space and eventually forming the moon.

    Scientists thought that any amount of water would have evaporated from the ejected material following the large impact, but not so. By studying the ratio of hydrogen to deuterium in volcanic glass from the lunar rocks, which act as sort of a fingerprint, they found Earth and the moon share the same ratio. So simply put, there was water on the proto-earth at the time of the giant impact. Some survived the impact, and that's what we see in the Moon.

    And here is a story about a rockstar, no I mean rocky star. The Hubble Telescope has found the building blocks of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place, around dead stars.

    Hubble spotted planets surrounding two white dwarfs 150 light-years from here in the constellation Taurus. The dwarf stars are being polluted by asteroid debris falling on them, which suggests that rocky-planet assembly may be common around these stars. Astronomers say studying these systems might give us insight into what could happen in our own system in 5 billion years from now.

    And explorers say they have found a piece of Atlantis. Okay before you get really excited like I did, they're calling it the Brazilian Atlantis. A joint expedition between Brazil and Japan was commissioned to assess the mineral potential of the region known as the Rio Grande Rise.

    They've found a piece of granite on the seafloor 900 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that they believe was part of a continent that disappeared nearly a hundred million years ago when Africa and South America separated.

    Researchers said that calling it the Brazilian Atlantis is "more in terms of symbolism. But if they do find a continent in the middle of the ocean, it will be a big discovery that could have various implications in relation to the extension of the continental shelf. Just talking about Brazil makes me want to Samba.

    And moving on up the globe, scientists say an ice-free Arctic may be in Earth's future. Studying the longest sediment core ever collected from the oldest and deepest lake in the Russian Arctic, scientists say they were able to read the Arctic's climate history like a detective novel.

    The undisturbed sediment record revealed that the Arctic was very warm 3.

    6 to 2.

    2 million years ago when carbon dioxide levels weren't much higher than they are today, which tells us a little about where we may be headed.

    Researchers say this coincides with other research showing that there was a 1.

    2 million year period where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet didn't exist at all. So the Arctic was once green and forested and could likely be again one day.

    You should thank your little furry friend for keeping your heart healthy. New research from the American Heart Association says that owning a pet, especially a dog, could reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

    The study showed that pet owners were more physically active because they walked their pets; dog owners alone were 54% more likely to get their recommended level of physical activity. The report showed that pets could be associated with lower blood pressure, decreased cholesterol and a lower obesity rate. I can't have pets in my place but, does anybody want me to walk your dog? And that's all for today's Daily Orbit, have a great weekend.