Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Space Dust

  1. Dec 25, 2003 #1


    User Avatar

    How can there be dust on the moon if there is no weathering whatsoever? I'm going insane over it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The moon sweeps up some the dust near earth with its gravitational pull, and meteroite impacts would also create dust.

    Also rememeber it's had a very long time to accumulate said dust. :smile:
  4. Dec 25, 2003 #3


    User Avatar

    What kind of dust is floating around aimlessly in space, and what's there to make that dust? Yes some barren places in space there is the intersteller thingy but there isn't enough for all that sand on the moon

    Metorite impacts- How many metorites does it take to grind rock into a fine powder? Yes, the moons been aroud for a while (well more than awhile). Metorites are of pretty much iron and other heavy metals. How does it get grinded into a fine powder? When the metorite hits if it shatters into tiny pieces the smallest ones fly out of the moons weak gravity, there goes 98.9999% of your dust. Plus, on the earth where metorites hit there isn't any dust. Also on the earth due to the weathering the small particles would be turned into sand, much quicker. No other planet or moon has dust on it. Why is the moon so special?
  5. Dec 25, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What do you think formed the Earth or any of the other planets?

    How do you know that? We've only landed on one moon, and both Mars and Venus certainly had dust.
  6. Dec 26, 2003 #5
    The dust is only a thin layer too don't forget. You can see this if you watch the moon landings as the lander approaches touchdown.

    The Earth has a constant shower of dust falling on it too. If you examine the sludge in a drain with a microscope you can see small bits of micrometorite within it.
  7. Dec 26, 2003 #6
    We are talking lots and lots of dust here, so there is still plenty to stay in the moons gravitational field. And we are also talking thousnds of meteorite strikes aswell, it all adds up.
  8. Dec 26, 2003 #7


    User Avatar

    Where's all that dust coming from? Hasn't the dust been sucked into the earth's or any other object's gravity over the billions of years?
  9. Dec 26, 2003 #8
    I'm not an expert on this, but a great deal of it comes from the debris left behind when comets pass by. At the last pass of Halley's Comet it was measured to be losing about 30 tons of mass per second when a probe from Earth approached it.
    Look up into the sky on any night and you will see several shooting stars - usually debris from Comet's tails, burning up in the atmosphere.
    Comets are constantly coming towards the Sun from the Oort cloud - each one leaving some debris as it goes past.
    Bigger meteorites make it to the Earth's surface somewhere every day.

    There will be others on this board who can give a better account than mine above - I'd be interested in some facts and figures, or good links about this, if anyone has some.

    Anyway, if the dust problem puzzles you, ask yourself where all the water in the Earth's Oceans came from....!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Space Dust
  1. Entropy and Dust (Replies: 8)