Friday, December 3, 2010


Hello and welcome to the new student blog at the Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies (CCLDAS).  My name is Anthony Shu. I'm a graduate student in physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a member of CCLDAS.  CCLDAS is a collection of professors, scientists, and students who want to study the moon.  This blog is being brought to you by the students of CCLDAS to give you an insider's view of what happens at CCLDAS:  the cool goings-on, exciting events, and the fun of finding out how stuff works on the moon.
We are very interested in the moon for a variety of reasons.  From 1966-1968, a series of 7 robotic spacecraft were sent to the moon called the Surveyor program.  These landers saw many strange phenomena, including an unexplained glow on the horizon.  The Apollo program, running from 1966-1972, successfully landed people on the moon.  During these astronauts' trips to the moon, they also talked about seeing a strange glow on the horizon of the moon.  It is believed that this glow was actually microscopic dust particles levitated into the air and scattering the sun's light.  To this day, we still do not know whether or not this is true.
In order to better understand this and many of the other strange things that have been seen on the moon, we are building a dust accelerator to simulate the environment on the moon.  Just like it sounds, this machine will fire microscopic dust particles up to 200,000 mph into a chamber that can be filled with a simulated sun and a bed of dust particles.  With the accelerator, we'll try to recreate and improve our understanding of lunar phenomena, like the legendary lunar glow.
So, follow our student blog and find out what we're learning, from mistakes to eureka moments.  And don't forget to check out the webcam, which shows us working on the accelerator in real time!

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