Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why is Moon dust sticky?

  This goddamned stuff gets everywhere!

I expect you have seen those close-up photographs of spacemen on the surface of the Moon. Have you noticed how they invariably have dust sticking not just to their boots, but higher up- often up to the knees in fact?  That dust is sticking to a vertical surface - in defiance of gravity - albeit weaker on the Moon than on Earth.

Well, there was an opportunity this morning on the New Scientist's website to mention that strange stickiness of Moon dust, and to speculate on what might cause it.

Afterthought: "sticky" is perhaps not the best adjective, since it may suggest "gooey". Maybe the title should have been : "Why does Moon dust stick to everything?"  If this were a scientific paper, which it's emphatically not, I guess one would be deploying terms like "adherent" etc. "Sticky" will do for now.

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