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Astron. Astrophys. 356, 1112-1118 (2000)

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A new model of continuous dust production from the lunar surface

S. Yamamoto 1 and A.M. Nakamura 2

1 Institute of Low Temp. Sci., Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo, 060-0819, Japan
2 The Graduate School of Sci. and Tech., Kobe Univ., Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan

Received 16 September 1998 / Accepted 11 January 2000


We estimate the production rate of lunar ejecta escaping from the Moon, taking into account the probable surface condition, i.e. the regolith layer. The production of lunar ejecta from a particulate surface is more effective than that from a hard surface. In our model for a particulate surface, the production rate is estimated to be about [FORMULA]kg s-1, about 20 times higher than that calculated by Alexander et al. (1984) for the hard surface model. According to previous studies based on the hard surface model, lunar ejecta with sizes greater than a few µm cannot escape from the Moon. Our new results suggest that, in addition to micron- and submicron-sized ejecta, lunar ejecta with radii larger than tens of µm can escape from the Moon. These large grains may contribute to the IDPs collected in the upper atmosphere of the Earth.

Key words: Moon – planets and satellites: general

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 17, 2000