Ultrathin Amorphous Coatings on Lunar Dust Grains

Science  18 Feb 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4023, pp. 753-755
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4023.753


UItrathin amorphous coatings have been observed by high-voltage electron microscopy on micrometer-sized dust grains from the Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, and Luna 16 missions. Calibration experiments show that these coatings result from an "ancient" implantation of solar wind ions in the grains. This phenomenon has interdisciplinary applications concerning the past activity of the sun, the lunar albedo, the ancient lunar atmosphere and magnetic field, the carbon content of lunar soils, and lunar dynamic processes.