Podcaster: Elizabeth Howell and Michael Collier

Title:  Dancing Lunar Dust At Sunrise and Sunset

Organization: NASA Lunar Science Institute ;


Music:  “A Walk On the Moon” by Styve Bolduc.

Description:  Lunar dust has an electrical charge to it that, for reasons scientists are still trying to determine, causes it to leap from the surface when exposed to sunlight. Shaded regions of the moon appear to have a negative charge in comparison to spots in the sun, causing the dust to move back and forth across sunlit areas if there’s a shadowed crater in between.

Michael Collier of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explains more about the leaping lunar dust model and its implications for our understanding of other airless bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids.

Bios: NLSI brings together leading lunar scientists from around the world to further NASA lunar science and exploration.

Dr. Michael Collier is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who works as part of the Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon (DREAM) team in partnership with NLSI.

Elizabeth Howell is a freelance space journalist in Ottawa, Canada. Her work appears in publications such as Universe Today,, Space Exploration Network and All About Space.

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365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by the New Media Working Group of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Audio post-production by Preston Gibson. Bandwidth donated by and wizzard media. Web design by Clockwork Active Media Systems. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at or email us at Until tomorrow…goodbye.