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Could icy hydrogen be got out of the solar wind?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:33 pm
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Could icy hydrogen be got out of the solar wind? 
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Post Could icy hydrogen be got out of the solar wind?   Posted on: Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:33 pm
The article "Lunar Ice: 'Cold Traps' Eyed for Exploration" ( http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/l ... 41214.html ) says that there may be "...'...enhanced solar wind hydrogen...'..." at the lunar south pole and a "...'...future exploration will rely on combining H and O, to make H2O water…like we
do in the chemistry classroom...'..."

This article says that the "...'...solar wind hydrogen...'..." can be harvested.

Could it be possible to make this "solar wind hydrogen" icy by using technologies? If this icy "solar wind hydrogen" really exists at the moon it will be within craters with no sufficient sunshine. Is it possible to create big and deep holes and refelect solar wind particles into these holes to keep the "solar wind hydrogen" by becoming icy?

Sounds silly to me but what is the process by which the moon gets the icy hydrogen out of the solar wind if it is really at the moon?

And could such a process be used at Mars too?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:20 pm
Yes, I have read about this too. And I agree that it is unlikely to be practical. The Moon is very dry and the amount of hydrogen being deposited on the Moon by the solar wind is very small. Even the best technology I can imagine to concentrate the solar wind would not be enough to make usable amounts.

Now Mars is known to have lots of water. All we have to do is find where the concentrations are greatest, probably at the poles, and pick it up.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:43 pm
If it could work in principle a technology should be searched for in theory first.

As the article say the result that there is ice at the lunar south pole has been derived from finding of hydrogen only and this hydrogen is icy and has been enhanced by the solar wind. It may be that none or at least not all of the hydrogen is part of water. In that case there is a lot of icy hydrogen at the moon. Then a technology would be very interesting.

To use such a technology on Mars may be interesting under the aspect that the solar wind is there and cannot be avoided. It's deadly, destroying and blowing away the atmosphere and water - by winning hydrogen out of the solar wind it would provide at least one use (more) regardless wether this hydrogen is neede for Mars. It could be exported to the moon for example.

It would be interesting whether the scientists knoe a "mechanism" that man could establish artificialy and that wins icy hydrogen out of the solar wind - at moon there will be such a mechanism if icy hydrogen would be found.



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Post Re: Could icy hydrogen be got out of the solar wind?   Posted on: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:16 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Could it be possible to make this "solar wind hydrogen" icy by using technologies? If this icy "solar wind hydrogen" really exists at the moon it will be within craters with no sufficient sunshine. Is it possible to create big and deep holes and refelect solar wind particles into these holes to keep the "solar wind hydrogen" by becoming icy?


lol, ok, what the article means is this.

The sun blows off hydrogen gas as part of the solar wind (most of it is ionized, but that is besides the point). A lot of this constant stream of particles will have bombarded the surface of the moon, becoming imbedded with, and frequently reacting with, the lunar surface. Why is this important? Because hydrogen is the one element that is really lacking on the moon.

The key point here is water. If there is ice on the moon, water is obviously easy to get (just melt it). Hydrogen is a little more complex - you would need to liberate it from the rocks, along with oxygen from other lunar rocks, and then react the two together to form water. Hence the "classroom chemistry" quote.

The building of solar wind reflects to gather hydrogen isn't at all feasible. The amount of hydrogen in the solar wind is tiny - it would only be gatherable on the moon because it has been there for billions of years.

Quote:
Sounds silly to me but what is the process by which the moon gets the icy hydrogen out of the solar wind if it is really at the moon?


The moon doesn't get anything out of the solar wind. The hydrogen hits the moon and stays there, where it would freeze into the dark corners.

Quote:
And could such a process be used at Mars too?


No, because Mars has an atmosphere and so is protected from the solar wind. It would possibly be usable on Mars' moons however, but since there is already water on Mars (in it's ice caps), there would be very little point trying to collect it through this method.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:49 pm
Alright - the idea of gathering ot on Mars I had for two reasons:

1. Mars has lost a lot of water due to the solar wind
2. It could help to increase the genral water ressources of the solar system within thos regions where there will be manned activities If hydrogen could be gathered on Mars water could be produced there and portions of this water could be exported to the monn which is im,portant because of plans to establish a permanent manned station there.

As far as I know the solar wind impacts the martian surface - it is not protected by the thin atmosphere.

Regarding the hydrigen at moon I really understand the articel in the sense that the hydrogen isn't bound into the rocks but is frozen on the surface directly. The idea seems to be to let it react to oxygen what ever the source of oxygen is.

But I may have misunderstood the article - I will it read again.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:38 pm
While it is - or because of the age of the most recent posts in this thread was - obvious that the hydrogen wouldn't be icy I not only want to mention Richard Speck's approach to apply a hydrogen farm using thin Titanium layers or plates or so.

More yet - the article "Solar Flare Surprise: Pure Hydrogen Shot at Earth" ( www.space.com/scienceastronomy/081216-s ... prise.html ) says that
Quote:
Such a ferocious blast usually produces a blizzard of high-energy particles dangerous to both satellites and astronauts. But an hour later, when NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft detected the particles, they were of an unexpected type.

"It was a burst of hydrogen atoms," Mewaldt said. "No other elements were present, not even helium (the sun's second-most abundant atomic species). Pure hydrogen streamed past the spacecraft for a full 90 minutes."


Such atoms also will impact the Moon. Would they be easier to be farmed via the Titanium layers? Are they more likely to be found buried in the lunar soil?



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