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The Moon's Magnetic Umbrellas 125

eldavojohn writes "When it comes to space exploration, there are things that are good for humans (water) and things that are bad for humans (radiation). In order for exploration of the moon to occur, its lack of a global magnetic shield to block solar radiation must be addressed. Luckily, scientists have discovered that there are highly magnetized areas of the moon's crust that could shield settlements." From the article: "Current evidence suggests that impact-basin ejecta materials [material blasted out by huge asteroid or comet impacts] are the most likely sources of many or all of the magnetic fields ... These ejecta contain microscopic metallic iron particles that are the carriers of the magnetization."
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The Moon's Magnetic Umbrellas

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  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @01:25PM (#16839958) Homepage Journal
    Artificial magnetic shielding is surprisingly economical. Big weak fields do a fine job deflecting charged particles, and you can generate them with a superconducting cable around the rim of a crater. Polar craters (where the ice might be) are plenty cold enough for today's high temperature superconductors.
  • Re:TMA-1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @01:25PM (#16839960) Homepage Journal

    The parent was a reference to the "Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1," the discovery of the second Monolith in the novel and movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

    The first monolith was temporarily positioned near the early homo erectus tribes, giving them a sort of gift of wonder and exploration, which immediately translated to tool usage and subsequent dominance over their competing tribes for resources.

    The second monolith was a simple beacon to indicate when mankind was ready to travel away from its home planet. It was buried under the crust of the moon, and the ONLY indication it gave to humanity was that it disturbed the natural magnetic flux of an inert rocky ball. Tycho itself may have even been shaped to help lead mankind to it. Once exposed to the vacuum of space, it sent a loud radio signal that would be heard by the likely discoverers as well as lead them to the next monolith breadcrumb.

    Of course, Dave Bowman found the third monolith despite the psychotic interference of a computer with competing secret directives.

  • Re:Short List (Score:4, Informative)

    by cruff ( 171569 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @02:51PM (#16841410) Homepage
    You also forgot:

    Self-aware planet destroying bombs
    Aliens that look like beach balls with funny feet
  • by Apocalypse111 ( 597674 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @04:08PM (#16842828) Journal
    I'm not prepared to say that strong magnetic fields are totally harmless (more a reservation about making a statement of absolute fact rather than any belief or proof to the contrary), but at least in so far as the myth that magnetic fields cause cancer, then yes, they're harmless. Magnetic fields are not ionizing radiation.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll