About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
ISRN Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 506187, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/506187
Research Article

Discovery of Discrete Structured Bubbles within Lunar Regolith Impact Glasses

1Discipline of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia
2National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, 101 Hsin-Ann Road, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu 30076, Taiwan

Received 20 December 2011; Accepted 10 January 2012

Academic Editors: S. Ettori and R. A. West

Copyright © 2012 Marek S. Żbik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The unusual morphology and internal structure of bubbles within lunar regolith impact glasses have been studied using traditional scanning electron microscopy and the novel technique transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM), with 3D tomography reconstruction. Here, we show the previously unknown phenomenon of building a highly porous cellular structure within bubbles in glassy particles of the dust fraction of lunar regolith. Vesicles within studied lunar glasses are filled in with submicron-sized particles as shown in the presented micrograph. These particles consist of glass nano in size elements. What is shown in the TXM tomography reconstruction anaglyph demonstrates cellular-like, 3D structure where oblique probably glassy fine particles down to 100 nm in diameter build chains of sophisticated network. It also may be suggested that submicron and nano-sized grains present in lunar regolith are the result of particle liberation from broken glassy vesicles. This liberation takes place when regolith is exposed to constant impact pulverisation. Liberated particles are permanently enriching lunar soil in the finest soil constituent. This constituent presence in lunar regolith may be responsible for the unusual behaviour of lunar material. This unusual constituent of lunar regolith and its properties have to be better understood before our permanent lunar exploration begins.