This article from 2011 mentions simulations about the sputtering effect caused by a solar flare hitting the Moon:

"We found that when this massive cloud of plasma strikes the moon, it acts like a sandblaster and easily removes volatile material from the surface," said William Farrell, DREAM team lead at NASA Goddard. "The model predicts 100 to 200 tons of lunar material – the equivalent of 10 dump truck loads – could be stripped off the lunar surface during the typical 2-day passage of a CME."

The researchers said they were waiting for LADEE to confirm these simulations and add new data, but I didn't find any conclusions on this subject on the mission website. I was interested if this event can create a significant static electricity difference between the 2 sides of the Moon, causing some sort of lightnings on the edges or even a mini-version of a dust storm.


1 Answer 1


You'd probably be most interested in the results of the Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX). A 2015 paper states

LDEX data show no evidence for an electrostaticallylofted dust component at densities greater than a few per m3

I am assuming the solar flare stuff didn't pan out, otherwise it would be mentioned in the various LDEX summary papers. In addition, the NASA DREAM group site doesn't seem to have anything relevant LADEE results, and they're the ones that brought the subject up in the first place.


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