Navigation Links
Nanoparticles found in moon glass bubbles explain weird lunar soil behavior

A stunning discovery by QUT soil scientist Marek Zbik of nano particles inside bubbles of glass in lunar soil could solve the mystery of why the moon's surface topsoil has many unusual properties.

Dr Zbik, from Queensland University of Technology's Science and Engineering Faculty, said scientists had long observed the strange behaviour of lunar soil but had not taken much notice of the nano and submicron particles found in the soil and their source was unknown.

Dr Zbik took the lunar soil samples to Taiwan where he could study the glass bubbles without breaking them using a new technique for studying nano materials called synchrotron-based nano tomography to look at the particles. Nano tomography is a transmission X-ray microscope which enables 3D images of nano particles to be made.

"We were really surprised at what we found," Dr Zbik said.

"Instead of gas or vapour inside the bubbles, which we would expect to find in such bubbles on Earth, the lunar glass bubbles were filled with a highly porous network of alien-looking glassy particles that span the bubbles' interior.

"It appears that the nano particles are formed inside bubbles of molten rocks when meteorites hit the lunar surface. Then they are released when the glass bubbles are pulverised by the consequent bombardment of meteorites on the moon's surface.

"This continuous pulverising of rocks on the lunar surface and constant mixing develop a type of soil which is unknown on Earth."

Dr Zbik said nano particles behaved according to the laws of quantum physics which were completely different from so called 'normal' physics' laws. Because of this, materials containing nano particles behave strangely according to our current understanding.

"Nano particles are so tiny, it is their size and not what they are made of that accounts for their exceptional properties.

"We don't understand a lot about quantum physics yet but it could be that these nano particles, when liberated from their glass bubble, mix with the other soil constituents and give lunar soil its unusual properties.

"Lunar soil is electro-statically charged so it hovers above the surface; it is extremely chemically active; and it has low thermal conductivity eg it can be 160 degrees above the surface but -40 degrees two metres below the surface.

"It is also very sticky and brittle such that its particles wear the surface off metal and glass."

Dr Zbik said the moon had no atmosphere to cushion the impact of meteorites like Earth had.

"When they hit the moon there is a very violent reaction. Huge temperatures are generated which melts the rock. The pressure goes and a vacuum is created. Bubbles occur in the molten glass rock like soft drink bubbles trying to escape the bottle.

"Our work now is to understand how those particles evolve from this process. It may also lead us to completely different way of manufacturing nanomaterials." Dr Zbik and his research team's study was published in the International Scholarly Research Network Astronomy and Astrophysics.


Contact: Niki Widdowson
Queensland University of Technology

Related biology technology :

1. Nanoparticles seen as artificial atoms
2. Light touch keeps a grip on delicate nanoparticles
3. New measuring techniques can improve efficiency, safety of nanoparticles
4. Metal nanoparticles shine with customizable color
5. Marshall study shows nanoparticles used as additives in diesel fuels can travel from lungs to liver
6. Immune Deficiency Foundation Urges FDA To Exempt Immunoglobulin From Biosimilars Pathway
7. Founder of National Childrens Leukemia Unveiled Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Promising Cure for Cancer at GIL 2012: Europe
8. New Stem Cell Found in the Brain
9. Systems Alliance Launches Redesigned Website for The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
10. Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgias Founder Returns Home to Celebrate Cancer Survivors and Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
11. Foundation for Health Improvement and Technology (FHIT) Launched to Beat Cardiovascular Disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States ... of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green ... or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ... today reported financial results for the quarter ended ... expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International ... United States ," said Andrew Rae ... advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) ... of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of ... corporate developments that would cause the recent movements in ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought together dozens ... BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, the top ... of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, and an ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/16/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... announced expansion of its TDDI product portfolio with ... and display driver integration (TDDI) solutions designed to ... TDDI products add to the previously-announced TD4300 ... resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) solutions. All four ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... Minn. , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... in Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November ... be able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... and learn how iMedNet has been able to ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... announced broader entry into the automotive market with a ... the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, ... ideal for the automotive industry and will be implemented ... Europe , Japan , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):