Friday, September 25, 2009

Water in moon – but any water in Mars??

Two celestial entities, Moon and Mars are in news. Though the news about water in moon confirmed by ISRO and NASA is widely reported, the news on whether or not water played a role in making Martian surface look red seems to have gone under-reported.

Astrologically, these two information are of interest to me.

That moon is a ‘watery’ planet is well known tenet of astrology.

In similar vein we say that Mars and Sun are fiery grahas. Other elements are connected to other planets too.

When we say that moon is watery or Mars is fiery, it is on the basis of Name- Form- Attribute of anything and everything in the created world as explained in Chandogya Upanishad.

Explaining this principle with reference to water and moon,

water is cool, it can be heated up, it flows, it has no shape, it transports, it is wavy, it changes, it mirrors, it reflects, it absorbs, it is easily polluted and so on.

According to Vedantha, anything that exhibits the above qualities is watery element. All things that share these qualities are similar in name, form and function / attribute.

Mind has watery quality.

Mind can be cool, or gets hot with anger and lust, it is not steady as it flows on all directions, has no shape, it transports ideas, it is wavy and wavering, it changes soon, it reflects the inner self like the mirror, it absorbs thoughts and views, can be polluted easily and so on.

Similar is the tendency of Moon. All the above attributes can be applied to moon. Water is unstable. Mind is unstable and moon is unstable as it changes its shape and position constantly.

But we know that the changing phase of moon is about how it is perceived, though its shape remains same and full always.

If one realizes the same for the mind too, that the mind is robust and strong and only is “seen” to be changing due to perceptions, one becomes a master of his Mind.

Due to these reasons moon, mind and water are treated as equals. The name, form and attribute are common to these. By this it is to be known that there must be ‘water’ in these things in their physical manifestations.

Our seers perceived water in Moon by this logic.

The lordship of moon over the watery sign of cancer makes it a completely watery entity.

In contrast, Mars is a fiery planet.

It is presiding over 2 signs – one fiery (Aries) and another watery (scorpio).

However the basic nature of Mars identified in astrology is fieriness.

According to studies, water once existed on Mars.

Scientists are not sure if water exists even now in some form in that planet.

There is an opinion that water molecules gave the red colour – by hastening the process of rusting of the iron particle of the Martian soil – to say in layman language.

But the recent study indicated that the red color of the surface is due to winds that spread the sands.

Astrologically speaking, Martian color must be due to the fiery element that went into its formation. Mars is essentially fiery planet – a kind of replica of sun in its formative years of birth.

Water is a secondary property. Scorpio, the watery sign of Mars is identified with 8th house properties of death and dirt or marsh lands infested with dangers. From this it is inferred that water led to its death or decay than helping it in making a better place.

Going by the color stipulations for the 2 signs of Mars, it is basically red due to its formative reasons (Aries, the Moola trikona of Mars is red).

Water added, gives it yellow or golden tint. Scorpio is identified with these two colors.

The logic of this is that, the predominant Martian color of red is due to its texture of sand and rocks, independent of water connection. There may be regions of golden or yellow tint in the Martian surface which may have had water components sometime in the past or presently buried in them in some form.

The search for such areas on Mars may yield results on water components.

- jayasree



Water in moon.

In a landmark discovery, scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon, courtesy ISRO and India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-I, the NASA said on Thursday.

Instruments aboard three separate spacecrafts, one of them the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, a NASA instrument onboard Chandrayaan-I revealed water molecules in amounts that are greater than predicted, but still relatively small, it added.

"Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time," said Jim Green,
director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between
NASA and the India Space Research Organisation," he said.

From its perch in lunar orbit, NASA said M3's state-of-the-art spectrometer measured light reflecting off the moon's surface at infrared wavelengths, splitting the spectral colours of the lunar surface into small enough bits to reveal a new level of detail in surface composition.

When the M3 science team analysed data from the instrument, they found the wavelengths of light being absorbed were consistent with the absorption patterns for water molecules and hydroxyl.

"For silicate bodies, such features are typically attributed to water and hydroxyl-bearing materials," Carle Pieters, M3's principal investigator from Brown University said.



Wind, not water, clue to Mars' red colour

Mars' distinctive red colour could be the result of thousands of years of wind-borne sand particles colliding with one another, a new study says.

Planetary scientists claim that Mars' red colour is caused when a dark form of iron called magnetite oxidises into a reddish-orange form called haematite.

Some say water caused the oxidation while some blame the ultraviolet rays.

Now a team of astronomers at the Aarhus University in Denmark has claimed that the trigger may be wind and not rust.

To simulate the wind transport of sand in the laboratory, the scientists sealed tiny particles of magnetite and quartz -- a mineral present on both earth and Mars -- in a glass flask filled with carbon dioxide.

For several months, they mechanically tumbled it like clothes in a dryer, noticing that the flask got redder over time as more of the magnetite changed into haematite.

The astronomers suspect that the constant collisions split the quartz grains apart, exposing chemically reactive surfaces that oxidise the particles of magnetite, the New Scientist reported.

"On Mars, quartz and haematite particles could collide while being blown about by winds in dust devils and global dust storms,"

team leader Jonathan Merrison said. Assuming there was not enough water on early Mars to rust the planet, the wind might have taken just a few hundred thousand years to transform it from a charcoal colour to red, according to the astronomers. Experts have welcomed the findings published in the latest edition of Icarus journal. Joel Hurowitz of Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, called the work "interesting".

No comments: