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  Physics: How long does a footprint last on the Moon?
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24th Nov 2012, 2:40 AM

I hope I will ask my question clearly. In school we have to do a research about how long a step r footprint last on the Moon. The last man walked on a Moon was Apollo 17 mission in 1972 and I wonder if there are still all the footprints astronauts left?

Thank you.

changed: mat (24th Nov 2012, 10:51 PM)
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25th Nov 2012, 2:28 PM
Unlike on Earth, the Moon does not have its own atmosphere. That means that there is no erosion by wind or water and all the water on the surface is frozen as ice.

That is why the footprints would stay on the Moon surface forever.

However, the Moon is exposed to bombardment by meteorites, which change the surface. One little meteorite could easily wipe out a footprint on the Moon. It is also exposed to the solar wind, a stream of charged particles coming from the sun, and over time this acts almost like weather on Earth to scour surfaces on the Moon, but the process is very, very slow.

It is estimated that the footprints on the Moon surface would vanish in about 10 to 100 million years.

changed: podtalje (25th Nov 2012, 10:29 PM)
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