Accession Number:

ADA270130

Title:

Search for Lunar Water Ice in Cometary Impact Craters

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1993-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

64.0

Abstract:

The search for water on the moon began with the introduction of the idea of polar cold traps as a region where large deposits of water could be stored. James Arnold 1979 presented this hypothesis after reviewing many methods by which water was delivered to the moon. The principle method is cometary impacts. Carl Sagan and Christopher Chyba 1990 further stated that enough water was delivered to the earth by comets to account for the volume of the terrestrial ocean. We investigate the possibility that large amounts of water are deposited in the floors of cometary impact craters. The impact of a 1- 2 km comet brings over 1015 g of water to the lunar surface. If 1 of the mass survives the impact to be trapped in the crater and 1 of that is retained over the 3-4 billion years required for it to be present today, there will still be a 1010 g of H2O per impact. With the impact of a few hundred comets, up to 1012 g of H2O is trapped in lunar craters.

Subject Categories:

  • Astrophysics
  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE