Posted by BC on April 18th, 2008
New ideas about the lunar surface as the Moon sweeps into the Full phase bring reports of shocking news. Really, “Shocking!” As the Moon passes through Earth’s magnetotail, the particles on the surface are charged. The charged particles raise a layer of dust that can be attracted to the oppositely charged particles, i.e. dust onto space suits, equipment, and pretty much anything else.
As the particles become active, they can carry a charge up to -1000 Volts. If astronauts are on the Moon during the Full phase, plus or minus three days, they may feel the zap. Images have shown the surface dust during one of the active periods. Not only might astronauts feel a static charge, they may have difficulty with equipment as well.
The next astronauts to land on the Moon may come back covered with Moon dust, and they might also have a shocking experience. Perhaps NASA’s next new invention will be a new twist on dryer sheets.
For more information go to this NASA site.