By Danielle Chavira

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A team of scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder found a solution to wiping away lunar dust. The researchers call the layers of moon dust “really annoying.”

“Lunar dust sticks to all kinds of surfaces; spacesuits, solar panels, helmets. It can damage equipment,” said Xu Wange, a research associate at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

A simulant of moon dust (credit: CU Boulder)

He went onto say the dust is full of radiation from the sun, giving it an electric charge making it sticky. Researchers say it’s not like dust in our homes. It’s jagged like shards of glass and can damage equipment.

So, the team of scientists worked on a solution to keep the substance from clinging to surfaces.

They used electron beams to add negative charges to the surface with dust.

“The charges become so large that they repel each other, and then dust ejects off of the surface,” Wang said. Officials compare it to magnets pushing away from each other when the wrong ends are forced together.

The method had a 75-85% success rate. They say they will keep working on it.

“You could just walk into an electron beam shower to remove fine dust,” said Mihály Horányi, a professor in LASP.

Danielle Chavira


Leave a Reply