- What do you do if you can’t fly to the moon yourself to see how much water is hidden in the soil? Blast it with a rocket of course! Last year scientists from NASA shot a rocket into the moon to see if water was hidden in permanently shadowed parts of the soil (see, research really is mostly about blowing stuff up). What did they find?
Anthony Colaprete and colleagues analyzed data from the near-infrared and ultraviolet/visible spectrometers onboard the shepherding spacecraft, and they suggest that about 155 kilograms (342 pounds) of water vapor and water ice were blown out of the darkness of the crater and into the LCROSS field of view. They then estimate that approximately 5.6 percent of the total mass inside Cabeus crater (plus or minus 2.9 percent) could be attributed to water ice alone.
- A group of scientists in Canada launch their own website – PublicScience.ca – to give their researchers a place to talk about their results after new rules prevent federal scientists from speaking directly to the media without prior approval:
The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister’s director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work. While Natural Resources was singled out, reporters and scientists across a wide range of departments are well aware that the government frowns upon direct communication between its employees and the media without prior approval.
- Watch live as engineers build the next mars rover – Curiosity!
- Unpopular Science – One man (humorously) fighting the laws of physics