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Zoltan Sternovsky– The lunar surface: a dusty plasma laboratory

November 8, 2010 @ 3:00 pm PDT

On November 8, 2010, Zoltan Sternovsky will speak on “The lunar surface: a dusty plasma laboratory”.

Thank you to all who joined the eleventh NLSI Director’s Seminar. You can view an archive of the talk here.

See the original posted description for the talk below.

Please join NLSI for a specially timed seminar with Professor Zoltan Sternovsky, who is part of NLSI PI Mihaly Horanyi’s Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies (CCLDAS).

The lunar surface: a dusty plasma laboratory


The Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies is focused on the theoretical and experimental investigations of the physics of the lunar surface, including dusty plasma and impact processes, and the development of new instrument concepts with a complementary program of education and community development. CCLDAS is an interdisciplinary program to address basic physical and applied lunar science questions, including issues important to ensure human safety and long-term usability of mechanical and optical devices on the Moon. The Moon’s exposure to solar wind, UV radiation, magnetospheric plasmas, and meteoroid impacts results in a complex, time-dependent environment, which creates a natural dusty plasma laboratory. The charging, possible subsequent mobilization, and transport of fine lunar dust have remained a controversial issue since the Apollo era, and have been suggested to lead to the formation of a ‘dust exosphere.’

This talk will report on the recent advances in small-scale laboratory experiments, the development of supporting computer simulations, and the status of the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) for the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Mission to be launched in early 2013, and other instrument concepts under development. I will also describe the capabilities of the Colorado Dust Accelerator to be commissioned in early 2011, and invite the lunar community to plan on using this unique facility.


Zoltan’s interests are in instrument development for sounding rockets and satellites; experimental research in hypervelocity dust impact plasmas; and laboratory plasma physics. He has extensive laboratory experience studying dust charging processes in the laboratory, dusty plasmas research, plasma diagnostics using Langmuir probes, and designing and building scientific apparatus. He was the instrument scientist on a sounding rocket mission launched in August 2007 that measured the density of nanometer-sized, charged smoke particles in the mesosphere.

Zoltan is currently involved in the development of several in-situ dust instruments, including the Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX). The satellite with this instrument will orbit the moon and measure dust lofted from the lunar surface to high altitudes. Zoltan has a long track record studying the near-surface lunar environment including the experimental study of charging lunar dust samples, development of diagnostic techniques for the photoelectron sheath generated by solar UV, and its modeling.

WHEN:Monday, November 8, 2010, 3:00 PM Pacific, 23:00 GMT = November 9, 2010, 8 AM Korea



Please RSVP to Ricky Guest (Ricky.Guest@nasa.gov) if you will be joining by Polycom. Do not connect to the teleconference if you will be joining by Polycom.

To view the slides, connect to https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nlsi_director_seminars/


No RSVP is necessary. The slides for this meeting will be presented using Adobe Connect. To join the meeting, connect to https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nlsi_director_seminars/

The teleconference number will be displayed when joining the meeting.

Posted: Nov 3, 12:32 pm


November 8, 2010
3:00 pm PDT
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