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Electric Sparks May Alter Lunar Soil

moon solar enegetic particles lunar reconnaissance orbiter nasa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

Electric Sparks May Alter Evolution of Lunar Soil


www.nasa.gov said:

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire (UNH) and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly altered the properties of the soil in the moon's coldest craters through the process of sparking—a finding that could change our understanding of the evolution of planetary surfaces in the solar system.

The study, published August 8 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, proposes that high-energy particles from uncommon, large solar storms penetrate the moon's frigid, polar regions and electrically charge the soil. The charging may create sparking, or electrostatic breakdown, and this "breakdown weathering" process has possibly changed the very nature of the moon's polar soil, suggesting that permanently shadowed regions, which hold clues to our solar system's past, may be more active than previously thought.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 22 August 2014 - 06:04 PM.
corrected source link.

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