Video: Why does the moon smell like gunpowder?

Why does the moon smell like gunpowder? (video)
Credit: The American Chemical Society

After walking on the moon, astronauts hopped back into their lunar lander, bringing the heavenly body's dust along with them on their spacesuits.

They were surprised, and perplexed, to find that it smelled like spent gunpowder.

This week on Reactions, learn why might smell like the aftermath of a Civil War reenactment:

Explore further

Moon dust a health hazard?

Citation: Video: Why does the moon smell like gunpowder? (2019, June 20) retrieved 15 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 21, 2019
The smell is probably from nitrogen oxides - classic byproducts from black powder detonation. Whether the nitrogen is coming from the atmosphere or the dust is an interesting question.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more