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Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

To Study The Sun, Go To The Moon

2009/09/25 6 comments

or “On The Surface Of The Moon, a Four-billion-year Record of Solar Activity Awaits Us”

[UPDATE : More evidence of the “imprint” of solar wind into lunar soil]

In her 2007 article “The Sun and the Earth’s Climate” published in “Living Reviews in solar physics” (Living Rev. Solar Phys. 4, (2007), http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2007-2 cited on Sep 25, 2009), Professor Joanna D. Haigh writes in the Conclusions:

One important issue is to establish the magnitude of any secular trends in total solar irradiance (TSI). This may be achieved by careful analysis and understanding of the satellite instruments [and] continued [with] current and new satellites. For longer periods it requires a more fundamental understanding of how solar magnetic activity relates to TSI. This would not only facilitate more reliable centennial-scale reconstructions of TSI, from e.g. sunspot records, but also advance understanding of how cosmogenic isotope records may be interpreted as historical TSI.

Actually, there is another source of information for the history of solar activity, and it could open possibilities of discovery and understanding of an almost unheard-of scale.

I am talking about the surface of the Moon.

As per my notes about my (yes, peer-reviewed!) 2005 article “W.W.W. MOON? The why, what and when of a permanent manned lunar colony” (Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. 58(3-4):131-7):

The […] lunar soil’s regolith contains also an at-least-billion-year-long record of the solar activity [22] [23] [24] that would help a lot in the understanding of the behaviour and evolution of our star. Just as well, buried regolith deposits are expected to preserve traces of the very young Sun [25].

These are the references for the above

[22] H Y Mc Sween, Jr., Stardust to Planets‘, St. Martin’s Press, 1993, p136

[23] P D Spudis, ‘The Once and Future Moon‘, Smithsonian, 1996, p196

[24] P D Spudis, ‘The Once and Future Moon‘, Smithsonian, 1996, p106

[25] P D Spudis, ‘The Once and Future Moon‘, Smithsonian, 1996, p115

One doesn’t need to be a hardcore skeptic or AGW believer to understand the enormous worth of getting such information, awaiting us at a distance that can be covered in a mere 3 days.

Jack Schmitt on Computer Models vs. the Real World

2008/11/20 2 comments

Astronaut, Moonwalker, NASA Advisor, former Congressman, and accomplished scientist, writer and public speaker Harrison “Jack” Schmitt has left the Planetary Society for a variety of reasons, apparently including global warming:

As a geologist, I love Earth observations. But, it is ridiculous to tie this objective to a “consensus” that humans are causing global warming in when human experience, geologic data and history, and current cooling can argue otherwise. “Consensus”, as many have said, merely represents the absence of definitive science. You know as well as I, the “global warming scare” is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society’s activities.

A couple of perhaps not-well-known explanations are in order.

First of all, Schmitt is referring to the recent, pretty dumb decision by The Planetary Society (of whom I am a longtime member myself), of jumping onto the Climate Change bandwagon, to the point of dedicating a rather uncharacteristically clueless issue of “Planetary Report”, the Society magazine.

Another indication about the reasons for Schmitt’s decision can be found in this pre-lecture Q&A video from April 2008. At 23m 19s into the recording, Schmitt says

the first major important scientific discovery…when I stumbled across the..”orange soil”..and that is still a thorn in the side of the people who believe that the moon formed by a giant impact here on Earth. that hypothesis comes from computer modeling. models are great but they still have to agree with the real world. one big part that the model cannot explain in that hypothesis is how do you get the material that is in what is called the non-glass component in that soil. that material is very rich in volatiles…and just doesn’t fit…the debris [from the impact, would have experienced] very high temperatures.

Perfectly and very personally aware of the limitations of computer models, Schmitt cannot just take them as the ultimate Truth in Climate stuff just as he cannot, in Geology stuff.

Anybody wanting to bet if a person as accomplished and as scientifically renowned and respected as Schmitt will be called a denialist, with people figuratively dancing on his grave were a deadly disease to kill him?

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