What is regolith science


The regolith is clearly visible in this image, taken during a lunar mission of the Apollo program. © NASA

LaLuneet Mars is covered in a fine dust called regolith (or regolith), but this term also applies to soils on earth, the lesteroids or titanium. As defined by George P. Merrill in 1897, regolith is the most common fracture resulting from the fragmentation of the underlying rock or bedrock by physical or chemical processes.

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Moon and Mars regolith

The lunar regolith was created by the constant bombardment of micrometeorites, cosmic rays, and solar solar particles that continued to decompose surface rocks during the billions of years of the Earth's satellite evolution. As for the Mars Regolite, its formation results from meteorite impacts or even more massive asteroids in connection with the daily erosion effects of water and wind. On the moon and Mars, the regolith can be up to 10 m thick.

Regolite, a dust that annoys astronauts

Moondust is different from that of the earth. It can be compared to fragments of glass or glass, where the particles are very sharp and can seep anywhere. The Apollo17 astronauts reported that dust particles managed to block the shoulder joints of the astronauts' spacesuits, even causing a slight drop in pressure. In sunny areas, the dust could reach astronauts' knees and even reach over their heads, simply because various particles were electrostatically charged by the UV light. These dust particles were then found in the lunar module of the Apollo vessel, which caused irritation to the eyes and lungs.

OnMarsla dust is ubiquitous too, but probably not as aggressive. The weather conditions specific to the planet tend to flatten the ends of the particles. Still, dust and other dust devils are an equally worrying problem as winds can blow up to 50 m per second.