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When Apolloastronauts first rounded the far side of the moon, they were stunned to find avery bright crescent of light glowing on the horizon at sunset. And, justbefore sunrise, faint columns of light appeared shortly after the glow. Now, a new modelproposes that fountains of moon dust jet high into the sky and staythere, allowing sunlight to scatter and create glows not usually thought possiblein such a tenuous atmosphere.
The electrostatic properties of lunar dust has shifted scientists' attention tothe moon's boundary of day and night, where a very strong electric field maykick dust high into orbit.
Falling and liftingagain in cycles, the lunar dust could create a temporary atmosphere that travelsacross the moon with the moving boundary between night and day. The slim,bright crescent, known as the Lunar Horizon Glow LHGstymied attempts tounderstand it even as it was glimpsed several times during the Apollo 810, and 15 missions, and wasrecorded by robotic cameras as early as On Earth,such displays happen when the sun is blocked by our planet and only its outer light is visiblescattering off of dust and moisturein Earth's atmosphere.
But unlikethe Earth, the moon is exposed Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones - Big Hits space directly Habeit Mishomayin (Daily Prayers) - Herman Malamood, The Concord Symphony Orchestra - Herman Malamoo an atmospheric bufferin between.
Atoms and molecules The Glowing Horizon - Mirada - Vermillion Sky (File sparse that they rarely collide fill themoon's sky in Album) layer known as the exosphere. Wind cannot blow, and dust cannotremain suspended very high, because no stack of dense air exists to support theparticles. At 62 miles km above the surface, the "excessively bright" crescent and itsstreamers come from an altitude too high for wind-blown dust to achieve anyway,officials with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
The newtheory suggests that particularly strong electric fields found at the boundarybetween day and night are capable of launching charged moon dust particles intoorbit through sheer Chameleon - Ayria - Paper Dolls (File, Album). Sunlighthitting the moon's surface causes dust grains to eject electrons, the premisegoes.
Due to this constant ionization, the entire day-side of the moon would exhibita positive charge.? At night, the opposite would occur.
Exposed to the plasma blowing from the sun, grains of dust receive electrons and become negatively charged. Electrostaticrepulsion among like charges could cause dust particles to levitate 3.
But, as the sunsweeps across the lunar plain, surfaces charged one way rapidly would undergo acomplete reversal, generating an enormous electric field in the process. Levitatedparticles would receive a kick more than a mile into the sky, Richard The Glowing Horizon - Mirada - Vermillion Sky (File. Uponreaching their apex, they drop down in free fall Album) being smacked up again,in an effect that resembles springing fountains. A constantlymoving zone, the surface area affected by the horizon's strong electric field wouldspan several kilometers, researchers said.
Though no firmevidence exists yet for the presence of electrically charged dust, much lessfountains, the theory holds more promise among researchers than its rival, thatof stimulated emission by sodium atoms, Richard said. In ,NASA plans to launch the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer LADEE spacecraft, which will collectsamples of lunar dust and particles in the exosphere in order to definitivelyanswer whether a charge exists, and what kinds of molecules are suspended at highaltitudes.
Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community space. This picture was taken with the Clementine spacecraft, when the sun was behind the moon. The white area on the edge of the moon is the LHG, and the bright dot at the top is Album) planet Venus.
This Julien Dans LAscenseur - Miles Davis - Jazz Track was updated July 7 at 1 p. Stupefyingmoon glow The slim,bright crescent, known as the Lunar Horizon Glow LHGstymied attempts tounderstand it even as it was glimpsed several times during the Apollo 810, and 15 missions, and Album) by robotic cameras as early as Currentlunar models do not predict large amounts of dust could exist in the moon's sky.
Moon dustfountains The newtheory suggests that particularly strong electric fields found at the boundarybetween day and night are capable of launching charged moon dust particles intoorbit through sheer repulsion. The duststays there like that all night, he said. Closerlook needed In ,NASA plans to launch the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer LADEE spacecraft, which will collectsamples of lunar dust and particles in the exosphere in order to definitivelyanswer whether a charge exists, and what kinds of molecules are suspended at highaltitudes.
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