Moondust Can Tell the Truth About Lunar History

Fifty years passed since the man has landed on the Moon. And politics don’t seem to align and decide when or if we will get back there. This is why the man became inventive, just like a child that doesn’t have tons of toys — he became creative with the ones he’s got. So, studying the moondust that scientists already have might be a good idea.

Maybe the politics is right: the man should go back to the Moon only after he knows and learns everything from the last trip he took. And he is not there yet.

New method to analyze moondust

To play with the limited lunar samples they have from 1972 and transform them into knowledge, and scientists invented a new technique that permits to examine rocks, atom by atom: the atom probe tomography (APT).

Of course, only a limited number of scientists have access to this new technique. We’re talking about the ones that are lucky enough to work at the Field Museum and the University of Chicago.

APT makes it possible for probes as tiny as a human hair to be analyzed. Just like in a DNA test, the examination can reveal products of space weathering, pure iron, water, and helium that formed through the interactions of the lunar soil with the space environment.

Analyzing moondust to shed more light on the lunar history, but it might not be enough

APT is used to improve industrial processes like making steel and nano-wire-scan. For the scientists investigating the Moon, APT makes it possible for them to see the type of atoms and also their exact location in a speck of lunar soil — because the Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere.

That means it isn’t protected from space weather. The surface of the Moon is filled with secrets about what’s under the of asteroids that are too far away from Earth to study them directly.

But the information from moondust couldn’t be enough, no matter the accuracy of the APT. Scientist says that only samples harvest from different sites, on different parts of the Moon, could make the research come close to the real lunar history.

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