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Lunar Polar Craters Electrified? May 5, 2010

Posted by Nick Azer in charged craters, lunar polar regions, NASA Lunar Science Institute, Polar ice, solar wind.
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Recently, the NASA Lunar Science Institute made the electric announcement that lunar craters at the poles may be electrified.

“This important work by Dr. Farrell and his team is further evidence that our view on the moon has changed dramatically in recent years. It has a dynamic and fascinating environment that we are only beginning to understand.”- Gregory Schmidt, deputy director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NLSI article

As the sun’s solar wind flows over natural obstructions on the moon, it may charge craters the the lunar poles—also the craters where water ice was recently discovered in abundance—to as much as hundreds of volts.

In addition to potential short-outs, any charge to the environment could also affect lunar dust cling, making the already abrasive nuisance of the lunar dust that much more of a problem. With so much valuable water ice being in these same regions, the challenges presented by this will become a top priority for any lunar prospectors to adjust for and overcome.

For the full details, check out the NLSI article and the NASA video below:

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