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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


Real Moon dust on loan to CCLDAS by NASA. (Courtesy CCLDAS)

The Moon’s fine dust is the result of millions of years of bombardment by meteorites, and is highly electrostatically charged because of its exposure to the solar wind, UV radiation, and magnetospheric plasmas. Charged lunar dust moves in all directions, is lofted many kilometers above the lunar surface, and sticks to anything it comes in contact with. These characteristics pose challenges for instrument programs and human exploration of the Moon.

CCLDAS addresses basic physical and applied questions regarding lunar dust and dusty plasma, including issues important to ensure human safety and long-term usability of mechanical and optical devices on the Moon.