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50 Years Ago

Moon like blue cheese?

Excerpt from the February 22, 1964, issue of Science News Letter

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The moon’s surface is probably closer to green cheese than to solid rock. Blue cheese may be more accurate than green when an astronaut finally steps off into the rough, dark, opaque material left by micrometeorite bombardment.

Dr. Thomas Gold, director of the center for radiophysics and space research, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., said that the action of micrometeorites on the moon’s surface cannot fail to produce at least a thin layer of finely pulverized material like dust. Dense particle packing is possible so that a moon visitor would be able to make his way about in a weightless condition.

UPDATE

When Apollo 11 astronauts reached the moon, dust covered their spacesuits and equipment. Apollo missions left behind lunar dust detectors, but the data were not analyzed for more than 40 years. In November 2013, researchers reported in Space Weather that about a millimeter of lunar dust is added each 1,000 years, about 10 times faster than previously thought.  

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