Science Seminars

4/15/2010 – Laboratory studies of lunar dust transport.

Speaker: Xu Wang (LASP)
Date: Thursday, Apr 15, 2010
Time: 4:00pm
Location: Duane, D-142

Seminar Abstract:

There has been much evidence indicating dust levitation and transport on or near the lunar surface. Dust mobilization is likely to be caused by electrostatic forces acting on small lunar dust particles that are charged by UV radiation and solar wind plasma. Laboratory studies are needed for understanding physics of dust charging and dynamics on the lunar surface. Differential photoelectric charging and so-called “supercharging” on the surface near the lunar terminator region were created and studied in laboratory. Dust transport on surface in plasmas was investigated. A dust pile was observed to spread and form a diffusing dust ring on a negatively biased conducting surface in plasma. A dust patch was also found to spread on an electrically floating surface in plasma with an electron beam. Dust hopping was confirmed by noticing grains on protruding surfaces in both experiments. The 2-D electrostatic potential distributions were measured above the dusty surfaces and show electrostatic forces required for transport of the dust particles.

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