27 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: W Stands For: Water

Water is one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms: H20.

Because of the way the hydrogen atoms are attached, water molecules have a slight positive charge and a slight negative charge, which attracts the other water molecules around them. The polar nature of water means it has a high surface tension--and that tension decreases with temperature. This is why hot water cleans better, since there's less surface tension and the water can get into all the smaller pores and whatnot. Soaps and detergents also lower surface tension.

Water has three states of matter. There's water as a solid (ice), water as a liquid (which is what we usually know it as), and water as gas (steam). Water going from solid to liquid is melting, liquid to gas is evaporating, gas to liquid is condensation, gas to solid is frost formation, and solid to gas is sublimation.

Water forms from the nuclear fusion at the core of stars. When the hydrogen that's fused into helium is used up and the helium begins to fuse, oxygen is produced. Then iron is formed, and there are no stable reactions possible to fuse the iron, so the star explodes. The supernova remnants get thrown out through space and the elements (including oxygen) are free in the interstellar medium. And since hydrogen is three times more abundant than helium, oxygen and hydrogen eventually bind together.

***Due to problems with bandwidth (the site inserted an image in here that said "STOP THIEF"--or, more accurately, it was "STOP THEIF") I removed this image. Check link below to see the image.***

Because water is (at least here on Earth, and it's likely to be the same elsewhere) vital for life, there's a hunt on to find it in other places throughout the universe. Some places it has been found include the Moon (more famously in the form of NASA's LCROSS spacecraft which purposefully crashed into the surface), comets, and Mars. There are signs of water on Europa and Ganymede (Jupiter's moons), and the spectrum (the wavelength of light emitted by atoms) of water has been found in interstellar clouds.




Do you think we'll find out for sure that there are large quantities of water on other planets? Do you think we'll ever be using water from other planets or moons to help us travel through space?

-----The Golden Eagle
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Summer Ross said...

Honestly I never thought about it- while I was reading your post though I thought of spaceballs and running out of air- imagine if people harnessed that- LOL Sorry i have weird ideas and corks. Great post though. I do think anything is possible.

Ray said...

No, I don't think that we will find large quantities of water on other planets. From what water we have found on (as you stated) Mars, comets, and the Moon, I think that just might be the end of water on places other than the earth, which is the only suitable place to live and thrive anyway.

Donna Weaver said...

Water's such a power thing.

Old Kitty said...

Ooh the universe holds so much mystery that who knows?!?!??! I'd like to think that large quantities of waters exist elsewhere or at least used to or may still!

Water is amazing!! take care

Melissa Bradley said...

I think we'll find other sources of water out there and who knows, we may be able to one day extract water from sources we can't imagine right now. Great post and awesome photos.

Jules said...

I don't know about other planets but I sure have seen enough water here for quite a while thank you. I'd be more than glad to send that planet some of mine :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Wow--I've been so out of touch in the blogosphere for so long I've missed A-V! But hey, at least I caught the tail end.

And my deadline fried brain can't come up with a very interesting answer. So I'm going to go with: it'd be cool. #lame :)

Julie Musil said...

Wow, this information is fascinating. It reminded me all that I forgot from science class (my one and only C).

Lauracea said...

Yay! A post I can understand from beginning to end (even pores and whatnot ;) )
We're pretty lucky, aren't we, that we got a good ol' planet with water. No water - no us. We're so fragile in the power of Nature.

Tiger85 said...

I remember a while back they said there was ice on Mars and they were trying to melt it so Mars could be livable. Other than that I never thought much of it. Great post. =)

Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think we'll need to find water elsewhere if we intend to travel great distances.

Lynda R Young said...

I didn't know that about surface tension. How cool. (That wasn't meant to be a pun, lol).

Nas Dean said...

Amazing post and great photos! Thanks for sharing.

klahanie said...

Apparently, there is strong evidence that one of Saturn's moons, Titan, has a subterranean supply of water.
Fascinating article and well done for your ongoing journey through the alphabet :) And next would be 'X'...

Joyce Lansky said...

Excellent post. There is no doubt in my mind that we'll one day find water on other planets. As to whether or not we'll find a way to harness it during space travel, no telling.


Simon Kewin said...

Fascinating! Do you know, I'd often wondered whether hot water really cleans better than cold. Now I know.

Talli Roland said...

I love me some water! It would be great to discover loads of water on other planets.

My blog's disappeared so my temporary home is here!

Anonymous said...

Sure ... as you posted, with so much hydrogen in the universe its going to bind with oxygen and produce water that can, in some environments, support life.

The Golden Eagle said...

Summer: LOL.

Thank you!

I do, too. :)

Ray: I would argue that there probably is water elsewhere in the universe--but at the moment we'll just have to see!

Thank you for commenting on my blog!

Donna: It is!

Old Kitty: Me, too!

Melissa: I agree--wouldn't it be cool if we found another way of getting water? It's just hydrogen and oxygen, after all.

Jules: It's been quite wet here, too. The basement's flooded.

Shannon: Hi, Shannon! It's good to hear from you. :D

It would be cool--I don't think that's a lame answer at all.

Julie: I'm glad you found my post interesting!

Lauracea: Well, that's good! :P

Well, if there was no water, I don't think we'd be able to think we're unlucky . . . LOL.

Tiger85: Melt the water on Mars? I never heard that--it sounds kind of improbable, seeing as Mars is so far away . . .


The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: I agree. Ships can only carry so much in supplies.

Lynda: LOL.

I hadn't known a lot about surface tension until I started researching this post, either.

Nas: Thank you!

You're very welcome. :)

Gary: I should have mentioned that in my post--slipped my mind. It's so cool that they found some evidence for it, isn't it?

Thank you!

Yup, "X" is my next post. :)

Joyce: Thank you!

I think it's likely we'll find water on other planets as well.

We'll just have to see, once they build the spaceships. ;)

Simon: Thanks!

Hot water, apparently. I hadn't known that before--I just thought it was more harmful for any germs that might be on what's being cleaned.

Talli: I agree! :)

Stephen: I think so--there's so much matter in the universe, you'd think it would come together right somewhere besides Earth.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm sure there's water out there. Maybe someday we'll be tapping into it, but I don't think it will be anytime soon.

Tossing It Out

Jamie Gibbs said...

Interestingly, as I remember NASA have discovered a planet that they believe is mostly water, but because of its' size and closeness to its star, pressure and temperature are way different from Earth, so they're expecting the planet to have things like hot ice. It's pretty nuts.