back to article Solar winds are blowing away the Moon's topsoil - NASA

Solar winds and plasma storms are "sandblasting" the Moon, according to top NASA boffins, causing large amounts of lunar surface material to be blown off into space. The new discoveries come to us from simulations conducted by NASA's Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon (DREAM) team. In particular the DREAMers …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    They're worried about sputtering on the LADEE?

    Shouldn't this be flagged as NSFW?

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton

      May I suggest...

      ...that you use the Paris Icon

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    I gotta say that "hecatonne" sounds like a lot more than what it actually is.

  3. Mattyod


    We'll never be able to grow anything there now!

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      <Pedantic comment about how it's impossible to grow anything on the moon due to the absence of water and oxygen which totally misses that the previous comment was a joke.>

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    My goodness

    This global warming is worse than I thought!

  5. crowley


    I'm sure I read a while back something regarding the ease at which we could put small nuclear powered units at the Martian poles to provide said missing magnetic field, as a first step to potential terraforming.

    I think the suggestion was that this should be protection enough to maintain a thin atmosphere (from cooking rocks like 'Robinson Crusoe in Space'?!) despite the lower gravity being a substantial cause of atmospheric loss.

  6. davcefai

    How come nobody has claimed anthropogenity for this phenomenon?

    1. Armando 123

      Oh, they will. It's all the fault of robber baron capitalists or straight white male taxpayers or something.

      1. djs

        I blame Maggie Thatcher ...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This has obviously been happening for hundreds of millions of years. Why is it suddenly a problem?

    1. David 164

      Where in the article does it present this phenomenon as a problem.

      To me it seem like the scientist think this phenomenon provides an opportunity to collect more data about the moon using a mission that is already planned to launch in the in near future.

      No problems for us seem to have been mention in the article.

  8. ElectricFox


    I think these figures would be much easier to visualise if you would kindly convert 10 to 20 decatonnes into something more meaningful like African elephants, or Portsmouth-sized Olympic swimming pools.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sure, no problem.

      1 decatonne = 2381 Jb, so 10-20 dt = 23810-47620 Jb.

      (to an accuracy of five parts in a million or so.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Those would be Imperial Jubs you're talking about.

        1. Gavin King

          You say "Imperial Jub"

          And all I can think of is Queen Victoria.

          <-- Beer to drown out the thought.

  9. gbru2606

    So when we finally get back there, the Apollo footprints will have been blown away. Nice one. I suppose 'the dog ate it..." never would have worked.

    1. crowley


      Thanks for that genuine LOL :-)

  10. JeffyPooh

    Lunar footprints by Apollo astronauts are forever...


    The claim always sounded wrong to me. Very long lived, yes. Forever? No.

  11. Anonymous John

    Better to find out now.

    And not after we've spent trillions of dollars/yuan setting up Helium 3 mining equipment on the Moon before finding it's all been blown away.

  12. TheRealRoland

    I knew I was

    allergic to something.. must be that moon dust!

    Moon dust bunnies, anyone?

  13. Mediocrates

    Discovery based on a simulation?

    Can we really call this a discovery if if was done in the Land of Make-Believe? Really, NASA could just be having a bad DREAM.

  14. Wize

    When I saw the headline I thought...

    ...well that's NASA covering their arse when there are no footprints found on the moon.

  15. John 62

    verb and number

    "The DREAM team plainly considers that this would be a mistake"

    There, fixed that for you. I leave finding the other occurrences as an exercise to the reader.

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