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The Moon's Peculiar Dust Gets More Peculiar Still

The microscopic green and orange glass bubbles in lunar regolith are filled with nanoparticles "— vanishingly tiny flecks of mass, some no bigger than molecules" — that mix with the soil when impacts break open the bubbles.

Nanoparticles can become electrostatically charged, which would impart the same property to the soil, perfectly accounting for its tendency to float. They have low thermal conductivity, explaining why the lunar subsoil can get so cold so close to the surface. They are chemically active, and they are also electrically sticky, meaning that when the soil got on an astronaut's pressure suit or into the joints of his lunar tools, it would be all but impossible to brush away.

Tags: moon dust

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Replies to This Discussion

Interesting, even though he said the moon doesn't have water.  I've read that it has huge amounts of water ice.

Is that picture one of the glass beads?

I think so. But that's a guess. I got it by searching for moon dust. It looks like one of them. The article only mentions

Some are tiny sphere-like objects that are formed when a tiny bit of rock vaporizes and cools into a microscopic sphere.

I love the moon dust photo. I learned something about moon dust - many thanks!


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