back to article Please be aliens, please be aliens, please be aliens... Boffins discover mystery mass beneath Moon's biggest crater

Eggheads in Texas have discovered a huge, dense mass lurking beneath an enormous crater on the Moon. The Baylor University study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, combined data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions and found the huge …

  1. MrGutts

    Could it be

    It's Mithril!!

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Could it be

      Vibranium!!1!

      1. jonathan keith Silver badge

        Re: Could it be

        It can only be Unobtanium!

        1. Ragarath
          Coat

          Re: Could it be

          Thought for the day...

          If Unobtanium is acquired will it then become know as just Obtanium?

    2. vonBureck
      Mushroom

      Re: Could it be

      No, it's elephant fat...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could it be

        It's cheese, everyone knows that.

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Could it be

          You're crackers!

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Could it be

            Soup.

            http://www.earthstar.co.uk/clangdragon.htm

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Could it be

              A soup, perhaps, but a very dense soup, maybe a stew ;)

              1. Muscleguy Silver badge

                Re: Could it be

                My wife made soups so dense me and the spawn deemed them to be stoups, a halfway between the two. The spawn even though now grown and flown still talk shudderingly about the time she unknowingly made dumplings with rancid fat . . .

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Could it be

                maybe a stew

                Or maybe my famous[1] speciality - glop.

                (My wife objects to the name, prefers to call it 'pearl-barley chicken risotto[2]'. I prefer the term glop..)

                [1] I'm a legend in my own lunchtime.

                [2] Take leftover roast chicken, the jelly/stock from roasting said chicken[3], carrots, potatoes, mushrooms plus whatever else you have that needs using up. Except members of the allium family - they should *never* be added to glop. It's my recipe, I make the rules. Heat the stock, add copious amounts of pearl barley and diced-up potato and carrot. Simmer for a while. Once the pearly barley is cooked and the potato is very soft, add chopped up roast chicken and mushrooms. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes then turn off the heat and leave to sit for five minutes or so. Serve in a big bowl with sides of your choice (crusty bread is good).

                [3] T'wife does a Devon roast - the bird[4] sits on a trivet in a roasting pan with water in it. The juices drip down into the water and make wonderful stock that jellifies nicely when cold.

                [4] The chicken, not t'wife.

                1. davyclam

                  Re: Could it be

                  This is exactly why I come to The Register.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could it be

          "It's cheese, everyone knows that."

          Is this the evidence that Trump has that the moon and Mars are the same?

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge

        Re: Could it be

        I still maintain that if Armstrong's first words after setting foot on the moon had been "Jesus Christ, look at all the oil up here!", we'd have been back there every other week...

      3. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Could it be

        "No, it's elephant fat..."

        With Burnt Crunchy Bits!

        1. Loatesy

          Re: Could it be

          Beat me to it!

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Could it be

      It's a tumor.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Could it be

        It's not a toom-ah

    4. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Could it be

      Unfortunately not Mithril as Tolkein describes it as 'resembling silver but being stronger and lighter than steel'. Pity.

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Could it be

        There's also adamantite in wider Tolkein but that is lighter than steel as well but not as light as mithril In Angband Isildur's plate armour is adamantite. But I play randarts so whose armour that is and what properties it has are a lottery.

    5. Qwelak

      Re: Could it be

      It's the Gotterdamerung , send James Washington immediately lest he Nazi's or the Lizard Men invade.

    6. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Could it be

      Actually, this anomaly can only be fully explained as a fragment of the Extremely Large Hyperhadron Collider.

    7. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Could it be

      Loc-nar

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    I'm betting its all those socks we lose in the dryer

    Conservation of matter is still a physical law, so they have to be somewhere!

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: I'm betting its all those socks we lose in the dryer

      Lost socks:

      1) If you look you can never see them

      2) many socks appear to emit dangerous radiation (can be detected nasaly and quantum entanglement means you smell them the instant a trainer is removed from any distance ...)

      3) most teenagers socks are so bad they'd glow if heated ...

      Yep ... that's the formation and composition of a black hole and its accretion disk sorted then! When do I get the certificate for my PhD (proper hole darning)?

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: I'm betting its all those socks we lose in the dryer

        Not necessarily, I am a lifelong distance runner, started seriously in my teens. My wife never believed that my feet and shoes, even running shoes do not smell, until I shoved a running shoe under her nose and she had to, not, smell it. Then she believed it. Something about my personal skin bacteria/chemistry since it is bacterial action on sweat which makes it smell. Fresh sweat has no smell.

        Mind you unlike many teens I wore socks in shoes and changed both them and my underwear daily. But then I lived in Auckland, NZ at the time which is offiically sub tropical so such were necessary lest I deter all humanity and I had a mother and three sisters (women's smell is more sensitive than ours, proven) to tell me if I whiffed as well.

        Not to mention that running in the late afternoon meant I showered twice a day so I was VERY clean.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I'm betting its all those socks we lose in the dryer

          even running shoes do not smell

          Likewise. The only time in my life I've ever had BO was after several weeks of not washing properly (camping) and doing strenuous physical activity every day. I use deoudourant because I like the smell, not because I have to.

          women's smell is more sensitive than ours, proven

          Maybe generally, but not in my case. Maybe it's the various cocktails of medication I'm on but my (already) keen nose has got more keen in recent years. I can often smell stuff way before anyone else catches the scent.

    2. Andytug Silver badge

      Re: I'm betting its all those socks we lose in the dryer

      Nope, socks are the larval form of coat hangers, as Douglas Adams informed us many years ago.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    It's the core

    Some of the Moon was smashed away in that massive collision, now the core is closer to one side. Think of it as a planetary concussion, but the brain\core didn't move back to the center.

    1. Jim Mitchell
      Paris Hilton

      Re: It's the core

      If the center of mass was skewed, I think we would've noticed the effect? The moon does "wobble" a bit, but not that much.

      1. DeVino
        Go

        Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

        Hawaii island area is about 10,000km2.

        5 Hawaiis are about 50,000km2.

        Assume Hawaii is circular.

        That means 5 Hawaii's as a circle are about 250km across.

        The moon's diameter is about 3,500km.

        Iron is around twice the density of moon rock.

        So it's not a huge mass c.w. the moon.

        This assumes that the moon is not hollow and I am doing 2 dimensions here.

        Excuse if I got my numbers wrong.

        Maybe it is a Nazi flying saucer?

        Or more likely a meteor. (it is under a crater after all)

        Wonder how many more there are.

        1. adam 40 Bronze badge

          Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

          It's obviously a small black hole, collided with the Moon and now embedded under the surface.

        2. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

          To be honest the real question is: How many milliWales we are talking about here?

          1. batfink Silver badge

            Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

            Agreed. An "Hawaii" is not a recognised Standard Reg Unit. Obviously El Reg doesn't have subeditors, who would've picked that up.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

              I tried working it out in volumes of Wales, but Mauna Kea rising from the ocean floor doesn't compare readily with Snowdon or Plynlimon rising above the continental shelf. Really, these scientists should work harder on their analogies instead of spending all day running complex calculations on gigabytes of satellite gravitational data.

            2. David 18

              Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

              Are you sure the Hawaii isn't a little publicised RI unit of volume? I thought the Wales was area only.

              1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

                Surely the El Reg unit here is the exa-airbag?

        3. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

          "Or more likely a meteor. (it is under a crater after all)"

          Those early RAF jets flew higher than I thought.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: It's the core - hand-waving maths for fun

            Early RAF jets? It's no fun unless you can dogfight with two - or "Double Gloucester" as my dear Uncle once remarked.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's the core

        They did. IIRC it was during Apollo 10 that there was concern because the orbit was getting too low because of a similar/same issue. The Moon's center of mass =/= the physical center and the mass was not uniformly distributed.

  4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    1:4:9 dark featureless slab with no openings

    Oh my God, it's full of shovelware.

    1. DeVino

      Re: 1:4:9 dark featureless slab with no openings

      More Atari 2600 ET Cartridges !

    2. tfewster Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: 1:4:9 dark featureless slab with no openings

      It's an iPhone prototype

      - Black, featureless

      - Hidden from humans until they're sufficiently advanced

      - Shows mysterious images

      - Dimensions 1:4:9 (OK, I lied about that bit)

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 1:4:9 dark featureless slab with no openings

        You jest, but 1:4:9 with rounded corners isn't too far off the last couple years' flagships.

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Dammit!

        Kubrick missed a trick by not including rounded corners.

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Alien

    Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

    Consider the similarities between said yuletide "treat" and the discovered lunar mass...

    1) Anomolous object and unwanted fruitcakes are both incredibly dense...check!

    2) Nobody can really say where Christmas fruitcakes go once they enter the re-gifting stream. (Think of it, have you ever seen anyone actually EAT a fruitcake?)...check!

    3) Both sub-lunar mass and mass of homeless fruitcakes serve no earthly purpose...check!

    1. Giles C

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      That sounds very tasty - I love fruit cake and will eat it any time of the year.

      1. eldakka Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

        Hey, don't call your girlfriend that!

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

          My significant other is a fruit cake, and personally I'm not adverse to the occasional nibble.

      2. Agamemnon

        Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

        I take *all* the fruitcakes out off The Regift Stream™.

        I like to hike and mountain bike. Those are high-density, mostly indestructable fuel items.

        Those, a tub of pseudo butter, apples, a salami (or similar meat product), block of cheese, sourdough bole', granola trail-mix, liter of water, liter of juice ... I'm solid for All Day.

        I find when one bikes 50mi in a day, those little bastards are right welcome around second breakfast, lunch time, second snack, third snack, &c.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      I like Christmas cake, once the sickly icing and marzipan has been removed. I once put the icing ans marzipan out for the birds but they wouldn't even land on the bird tsble until I removed it.

      I think the dense mass under the surface of the lunar south pole is where politicians come from.

      Have you ever seen a politician being born?

      No! They fall to Earth like Mr Bean, then after screwing with humans for a bit and taking lots of money, they get reabsorbed so that new ones can be dropped on Earth.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      "Think of it, have you ever seen anyone actually EAT a fruitcake?"

      Yes.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        "Think of it, have you ever seen anyone actually EAT a fruitcake?"

        Yes.

        Must have been under duress.

        1. The First Dave

          Re: "Think of it, have you ever seen anyone actually EAT a fruitcake?"

          No, it wasn't under a dress, it was under the table.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: EAT a fruitcake?

      You can add some fruitcake to porridge to make it less bland and thus a bit tastier, a way of using it up and having a healthier breakfast. Just crumble some bits in with the oats before soaking/heating the water.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: EAT a fruitcake?

        "Mmm ... cake ..."

        H J Simpson.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: EAT a fruitcake?

        Water! Water? No wonder your porridge is bland. Add milk for heaven's sake! This isn't the Dark Ages! We've invented dairy farming, just to solve this very problem.

        The correct use for fruit cake is to eat it, while drinking a lovely cup of tea.

        1. fedoraman

          Re: EAT a fruitcake?

          And with a wedge of Wensleydale!

          1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
            Happy

            Re: EAT a fruitcake?

            Yes?

    5. OssianScotland Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      Any spare rich fruit cake can easily be sent my way - I love it at any time of year. None of this namby-pamby sponge here, please

      (Icon just for the hell of it)

    6. phuzz Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      I also would like to volunteer to receive your unwanted fruit cake.

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

        Can I send you my mince pies too?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

          I agree that most mince pies aren't especially nice. However, there is an easy, and Christmassy, way to deal with this. First, take 1 or 2 warm mince pies, place in a bowl, add about half their volume in brandy butter - then a good splash of cream. Pure deliciousness. After all, it would be appalling to just eat brandy butter and cream on their own, so you need an appropriate vehicle for them...

        2. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

          Can I send you my mince pies too?

          Yup.

        3. Agamemnon

          Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

          Yes.

    7. Kiwi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Final resting place of unwanted leftover Christmas fruitcakes is also a possibility

      2) Nobody can really say where Christmas fruitcakes go once they enter the re-gifting stream. (Think of it, have you ever seen anyone actually EAT a fruitcake?)...check!

      I'm often called a 'fruitcake' and plenty have been seen... Well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination... (Sorry, I'm all out of mind-bleach too...)

      FTR, I also quite like the Christmas cakes. Not fond of almond paste in the icing.. Only cake where as a kid I'd peel off the icing then give it to someone else or throw it in the bin, and eat the cake. Loved it when a mate liked the icing but hated the cake, we could keep each other happy... (Sorry, again - out of mindbleach).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. 1:4:9

    Sounds like someone will need to take a core sample.

    It might be an exotic superheavy element but probably just iron alas.

    Intriguingly someone else suggested this, see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0012821X78901954

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Re. 1:4:9

      Taking a core sample of something a hundred miles beneath the surface of the moon? Have fun with that! :)

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Re. 1:4:9

        That's the kind of challenge that made NASA go there in the first place.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Re. 1:4:9

          "Taking a core sample of something a hundred miles beneath the surface of the moon? Have fun with that! :)"

          "That's the kind of challenge that made NASA Bruce Willis go there in the first place"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re. 1:4:9

        They'll just need to drill. Doing so in outer space isn't that hard, as long as you don't have Captain America here land us on a giant iron plate!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re. 1:4:9

      If it is the same as Clarke's 1:4:9 2001 block can it please be sited in the House of Common's in the vain hope it might help them evolve? (6 monthly rotation with wherever Trump spends most of his time, certainly not the White House)

  7. ratfox Silver badge
    Alien

    Note that you need a magnetic anomaly as well (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One)

    1. JassMan Silver badge

      @ratfox

      Yep, this just provides more proof that Arthur C Clarke was right. This newly found mass is just the prototype for Tycho and the batteries have run down which is why it has no EM footprint. The ancients noticed that the ping responder had stopped and decided it was easier to build a newer tech version at Tycho rather than go to expense of digging up the broken one.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Alien

    Don't be so hasty to dismiss the monolith

    After all this time, being sentient, it probably fancied a move, and had put on weight - middle-age spread maybe.

  9. Mr Humbug

    It's part of the Dahak's hull of course

    1. Macha Morrigan

      It's just Dahak. No need for the 'the'.

      But wouldn't it be cool! The Moon is really a 50,000 year old sentient super-battleship! :-)

      1. Mr Humbug

        The evidence is mounting up

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/20/japan_finds_long_deep_tunnel_on_the_moon/

      2. tfewster Silver badge
        Gimp

        That’s no moon…It's a space station (i.e. the Death Star)

        C3PO --------------------------------->

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          "this base isn't in the moon, it is the moon"

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          C3PO's tactical 'evening' look maybe :)

          1. Agamemnon

            *Dumps Tea out of Keyboard*

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Moon is really a 50,000 year old sentient super-battleship

        More like a battlestation. And now it's just powering its recessed supergun... I wonder where it's gonna be ai

        1. Macha Morrigan

          Re: Moon is really a 50,000 year old sentient super-battleship

          BattleSTATION?

          Nah. Just a ship (by the standards of the Fourth Empire).

      4. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Coat

        Yes, but that leaves the human race in a bit of a mess, doesn't it, what with Anu et al holed up in the Antarctic and the Achuultani on their way.

        Now that's a series I would like to see another volume or two in

        (Thank you, yes, the one with the Complete David Weber in the pocket, please)

        1. Chronos Silver badge
          Devil

          Aku'ultan

          Then we find out the sentient supercomputer controlling their lives is just bloody Facebook from the future...

        2. Macha Morrigan

          We want movies!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What is uncool is that around the Permian Extinction we kicked it's ass really hard and it lost conscience for millions of years but now it is waking up and the grudge remains

  10. Kaltern
    Gimp

    Must Mention....

    Might Men Mining Magic Moon Metal Make Much Money? Maybe Mini Metallic Monsters Munching Many Miners May Modify Minds.

    1. DeVino
      Go

      Re: Must Mention....

      Mmmmmmmmmmmm....

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Must Mention....

      Late Lunar Lander licks lithic Legacy Largely Lost Long-time, Lately. Lacuna'd Land Lit at Last.

    3. Rol Silver badge

      Well it could be...

      Cute Looking And Noisy Gnomelike Elves Rummaging Meticulously In Near Earth Satellite

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Well it could be...

        Well don , upvote the obtuse Clanger reference!

  11. VikiAi Silver badge
    Boffin

    Damn!

    Do you have any idea how expensive it was to 'hide' my base there in the first place!

    Digging it all up again and shipping it to Pluto will just be the pits!

    1. ocflyfish

      Re: Damn!

      All your bases are belong to us!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Damn!

        'base'

        Yes, I fully understand the irony/whatever :P

    2. Flywheel Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Damn!

      Uranus is probably safer ...

      sorry.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Damn!

        Don't be a Mars Hole...

      2. VikiAi Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Damn!

        We considered it seriously, even had an offer on the table.

        But in the end we pulled it out of there.

        ...

        Mainly because of the poor safety record of the Titan-Uranus shuttle.

  12. Howard Hanek
    Linux

    Does ANYONE Expect the Truth?

    I know! Let's ask Fox Mulder!

    Really do you expect the government to permit mass alien hysteria to grip the earth, I mean besides their own particular brand of mass hysteria?

    1. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Does ANYONE Expect the Truth?

      Yeah, because what the government permit becomes immutable, untouchable fact, yeah?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Black hole

    It's obviously a black hole that is quietly consuming the moon, and when it's finished its breakfast it will eat the earth for lunch and the rest of the universe for tea.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge

      Re: Black hole

      It'll be the "waffer-thin mint" that'll make the whole thing finally implode into itself!

  14. Claverhouse Silver badge
    FAIL

    In terms of size, lead author of the paper, Peter B. James, compared it to a pile of metal five times the size of Hawaii's big island.

    This no doubt means something to, perhaps, the inhabitants, but I honestly have no idea whether the yankee island is 5 miles long or 50 --- nor will I look it up.

    Can't we go back to the old measurements ? Beloved and hallowed by precise tradition, 'X the size of Wales' and 'X the size of France' ?

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      OK, the author is USian, so probably doesn't understand standard units, but a translation would be helpful.

      More to the point, a 'pile' is a unit of volume, a Wales is a unit of area (and so, presumably, is a Hawai'i Big Island - which is a mouthful for a unit!) - so is he referring to the volume of an HBI? Including volcanic peaks?

      We should be told.

  15. Jove Bronze badge

    Too deep ...

    Given that the mass centre is about 300 Km below the surface it is unlikely to have been put there deliberately.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Too deep ...

      That's where I'd put it...

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Too deep ...

      That's exactly what They want you to think...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too deep ...

      Amazing nobody else has up voted this clear point of logic.

      Stupid dreams are popular....

    4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Too deep ...

      Alright Jove. I was a bit slow with the brakes. You don't need to keep bringing this up every bloody time.

      1. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Too deep ...

        I have only posted the one comment.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Too deep ...

          I was joking - the idea being that I crashed the spaceship the moon and you keep reminding me of it. Sorry, I thought that was clear.

  16. Flywheel Silver badge
    Trollface

    In other news...

    The Chinese Government today announced that their Moon Colonisation Exploration Mission deadline was to be brought forward by several years and that plans for the world's first blast furnace to operate in a vacuum were a "complete coincidence". Elon Musk, coincidentally visiting Beijing also stated that his plans to build a "Space Elevator" between the moon and the earth were "complete speculation".

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: In other news...

      The coupling arrangements for an Earth-Moon elevator (can we say lift?) would be a sight to see.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: In other news...

        ...especially that bit where you bring the Moon into a geostationary orbit, and the resulting tides destroy every coastal city.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: In other news...

        https://what-if.xkcd.com/157/

  17. Arctic fox
    Terminator

    Jupiter, AI, Microsoft and Google?

    I'm sorry Dave, I can't advertise that.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Jupiter, AI, Microsoft and Google?

      Jupiter mining corps?

  18. revenant Silver badge

    Meat Product

    I see the cans appear on the shelves, then slowly disappear and be replenished, but in 40 years I've never seen someone eat the stuff. Where does it all go?

    Now I know the answer: it forms the South Pole-Aitken Mass.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Meat Product

      Link to South Pole-Aitken Mass ;)

  19. VinceH

    Optional

    "While the enormous mass of the finding on the Moon speaks to something somewhat larger and more blobby than Clarke’s neat 1:4:9 object, poked at by a fictional Heywood Floyd, in the interests of whimsy we'll give it a pass. Although the fact it also wasn't found in the relatively youthful Tycho crater either threatens to snap the increasingly tenuous link."

    You can't expect the man to be that accurate. Who do you think he was? Agnes Nutter?

  20. petethebloke

    Elvis

    Enough said

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Elvis

      So you're saying it's made out of cheeseburgerium?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Elvis

        Or perhaps DeepFriedMarsBarium?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

    I was idly wondering the other day about moon missions. I think there's a lot of merit in the idea of looking at making the heavy bits needed for a return flight on the moon itself (be an added bonus if we could rig up something to produce the fuel needed from solar power).

    And if the return payload is just a lump of minerals, could it simply be launched at the Earth, landed in an ocean and mined from there ?

    How easy is it to make heat-shield tiles from moon rock ? Especially if they don't have to last more than one journey ?

    1. Homeboy

      Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

      There are folk already thinking about exactly that....

      https://www.space.com/36442-could-moon-miners-use-railguns-to-launch-ore-into-space.html

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

      Considering what humans are like, do you really think allowing some corporation/government to chuck rocks at The Earth is a good idea?

      Talk about strong negotiating position!

      1. CliveS
        Mushroom

        Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

        "Talk about strong negotiating position!"

        It worked for the Loonies when negotiating with the Federated Nations. Let's just hope it isn't built in secret in the region of Mare Undarum..

        (icon for what happens when Loonies throw rocks at Cheyenne Mountain)

    3. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

      You could read the first manual for the details. I believe it was called 'The Moon Is A Hash Mistress'.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

      And how much would you spend on mining the moon when we still have cancer unsolved?

      Imagine what Elon Musk levels of cash and drive could do if using, say, AI to crunch every possibility.

      We only look at space because of a desire within ourselves. And frankly, our collective house is not in order.

      Unmanned missions to collect samples, fine, as we should take what we need. But go to the moon? Admit it :this is your desire and filling in the blanks to suit desire, ahead of a specific justified case that speaks for itself, isn't it?

      You may dream of space, meanwhile, earth gets fucked. And the best some of you can dream of is a new place to fuck up.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: how much would you spend mining the moon when we still have cancer unsolved?

        Well if the answer to a cure for cancer is found in the minerals of the moon, you're going to sound pretty silly.

        As Prof. Brian Cox noted, people said the exact same about researching the nuclear world. Right up until the MRI scanner was a product of that research.

        Simplistic views tend to emerge from simple minds ....

      2. el_oscuro
        WTF?

        Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

        And maybe if we had long term bases on the Moon/Mars, they would need some form of self-sufficiency. That would involve production of food, clean air, water, etc, all in an extremely hostile environment with minimum resources.

        The lessons learned doing that should help us unfuck this planet too.

    5. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

      NASA is working on proposals to build a lunar orbital station in the 2020s to support the Mars missions proposed for the 2030s.

  22. Cuddles Silver badge

    Please use proper units

    "a pile of metal five times the size of Hawaii's big island"

    This sounds suspiciously like a unit of area, in which case the correct units would either be Wales or square brontosaurus. However, since we're talking about a mass of metal we should be looking at olympic swimming pools, although this adds the complication of whether they mean just the visible part of Hawaii or the entire volume from the sea floor upwards.

  23. charlieboywoof
    Big Brother

    The BBC are currently working out how to link this to brexit.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      "The BBC are currently working out how to link this to brexit."

      If its the BBC they are desperately looking for a way to link this IN A POSITIVE WAY to brexit

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        You missed /s

      2. charlieboywoof

        They wont though, horrendous biased organisation, and no, i dont pay for that reason.

  24. Anonymous C0ward
    Megaphone

    Heavy Metal on the moon?

    But sound can't travel through a vacuum!

    1. billat29

      Re: Heavy Metal on the moon?

      True. But it's not a perfect vacuum.

      http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/162184/what-is-the-speed-of-sound-in-space

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Heavy Metal on the moon?

        If we use the term 'sound' to represent pressure waves detectable via the human ear, then space is indeed a place where 'sound' cannot travel.

        If the sound were of a low enough frequency to match the density of the volume of space then it could be 'detected', but not 'heard'. I expect this would be true even in the large gas clouds, otherwise all the stars would be born deaf!

      2. ps2os2

        Re: Heavy Metal on the moon?

        But Dave can't hear you.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Heavy Metal on the moon?

      Tell that to Hotblack Desiato!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heavy Metal on the moon?

      > But sound can't travel through a vacuum!

      I can't think of a better place for playing Heavy Metal in that case.

  25. Rudolph Hucker the Third
    Paris Hilton

    Open the pod bay doors, Reg.

    Thank goodness I found Agnes Nutter's page on the lottery numbers. Oh, now where did I put it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      An attempt at humour, I suppose?

  26. giggler

    If we ever get there this is gonna be "we're sorry to disappoint you folks but its just a dust bowl"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well yeah, which is why anyone who wants it is kidding themselves. And neglecting what's here on earth, the cowardly, morally bankrupt "dreamers" who'd rather abandon here than fix here.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Well yeah, which is why anyone who wants it is kidding themselves. And neglecting what's here on earth, the cowardly, morally bankrupt "dreamers" who'd rather abandon here than fix here.

        You've never thought that there are many things "out there" that can really help "fix here" have you?

        For a start, there are chemicals and minerals yet to be discovered 'out there' that could perhaps hold the cure to all cancers.

        Also our resources are running our or getting harder to obtain - but 'out there' are many trillions of times the weight of our entire solar system in gold, many trillions of times the weight in Lithium, copper, iron....

        Also we are getting pressure on food resources - growing enough to feed out population. 'Out there' are resources that would help, especially with less people here - and that would help 'fix here' as less people will reduce overall stress levels - and stress is a known cause of (or contributor to) cancer.

        And there's pollution - if we can get some of our manufacturing 'out there' then that will also very much help 'fix here' as there's less pollution (if we can come up with a means of safely getting stuff from orbit).

        Think. "Up there is where the answers lie!". Well, many of them anyway.

  27. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Vogons

    Brace yourselves for incoming poetry.

  28. simonb_london

    Found it!

    I've been looking for those backup tapes all over!

  29. steviebuk Silver badge

    Image

    You get sent of a mission to Mars or even the Moon and all shit breaks loose on Earth while you're stuck up there, alone. Or even worse, stuck in the ISS with no communication but can see the destruction happening.

    Weird, pointless thought of the day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Image

      Already done by Ray Bradbury, "The Martian Chronicles", written in 1950.

    2. Umbracorn

      Re: Image

      In fiction: "Lucifer's Hammer", which in part gives a mixed US-Soviet space station crew a front-row seat to the spectacle of comet fragments hitting Earth, and the subsequent nuclear exchange (!).

      In real life: Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who went to MIR then had real trouble booking a flight home. http://discovermagazine.com/2016/dec/the-last-soviet-citizen

  30. adam payne Silver badge

    Eggheads in Texas have discovered a huge, dense mass lurking beneath an enormous crater on the Moon.

    That's not just any mass that's a reaper in hibernation mode.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they've finally found Iraqs weapons of mass destruction ?

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donald Sutherland

    I see the word 'eggheads', and I see the word 'scientists'. But nowhere in the article do I see the word 'boffins' except in the clickbait title. I do not think this piece is El Reg. <Points and screams like Donald Sutherland>

  33. Timmsy

    Iron in my Sky

    Ignore it. It's just those damn Moon Nazis again!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aliens suck

    Let's fix our problems here on earth, eh?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Aliens suck

      You are getting boring now. Intellectual bankruptcy isn't clever.

  35. Roger Kynaston
    Thumb Up

    Heart of Gold

    It is really the infinite improbability drive and Zaphod will emerge from the crater.

  36. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Alien

    Not 1:4:9 ?

    But could it be tetrahedral?

    A.C. Clarke might have been right the first time round with The Sentinel.

  37. holmegm Bronze badge

    Wait, I am confused - how many football fields is a Hawaii?

  38. Vikingforties
    WTF?

    Sat..nav gone wrong?

    What's all this talk of Jupiter? Saturn surely?

  39. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It's a smegging garbage pod!

  40. The Indomitable Gall

    Please tell me...

    Please tell me that the Aitken crater is named after Aiken Drum.

    (There was a man lived in the moon, in the moon, in the moon,

    There was a man lived in the moon and his name was Aiken Drum.)

  41. M7S
    Black Helicopters

    Lets all calm down a bit and be sensible about this large "metal mass"

    That the one bomber left stranded on the surface for the Sunday Sport to spot simply wasn't buried properly with all the rest of the post WW2 surplus.

    Now you know.

  42. Kiwi Silver badge

    It's the Nazis!

    You lot obviously never watched Iron Sky!

  43. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    ...looks like we'll be building Moon habitats out of metal, instead of 3D printed moon dust

  44. ps2os2

    Simple it is cheese that has been frozen.

  45. Daedalus Silver badge

    Oh dear...

    NASA knew about the lumpiness of the Moon's interior decades ago. These "mass concentrations" or "mascons" make orbiting the Moon for long periods a dodgy proposition. Most lunar orbiters will crash due to mascons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_concentration_(astronomy)

  46. Voidstorm
    Pirate

    Coming to a solar system near you : Weyland-yetani Moon and Asteroid mining.

    By the way, can you just nip to these coordinates and have a dekko at that location? Don't bother with masks, it's perfectly safe...

  47. zaax

    and then we will know what it will be like to be folder

  48. Jake Maverick

    I think they may have just found the secret base where they have been keeping an eye on us for last few millennia....perfect place for it, surely?

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