from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The layer of loose rock resting on bedrock, constituting the surface of most land. Also called mantle rock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The layer of loose rock, dust, sand, and soil, resting on the bedrock, that constitutes the surface layer of most dry land on earth, the moon, and other large solid aggregated celestial objects. There can also be sub-marine regolith.)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. ‘Blanket-rock’: in petrography, a term applied by Merrill (1897) to the covering of loose material resting upon the solid rocks of the globe. It is derived from the decay of rocks, accumulations of vegetation, talus, debris, and sediments of all kinds.


Greek rhēgos, blanket + -lith.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Irregular formation from Ancient Greek ῥῆγος ("rug, blanket") + -lith (from λίθος ("stone")). (Wiktionary)


  • Deimos appears mostly smooth due to a covering of powdery rock called regolith, which is reddish in this color-enhanced picture.


  • Schultz said the silver molecules detected were in atomic form - loosely attached to grains of lunar soil, or "regolith" - and were not the kind of deposits that could be mined.

    What's the moon made of? NASA mission finds it's nothing so simple as cheese.

  • Schultz said the silver and gold molecules detected were in atomic form - loosely attached to grains of lunar soil, or "regolith" - and were not the kind of deposits that could be mined.

    The Seattle Times

  • Over this weekend, NASA just held a competition in California with $750,000 in prizes for anyone in America who could move the most "regolith" --- or moon dirt --- with a robot.

    SpaceRef Top Stories

  • Competitors were required to use mobile, robotic digging machines capable of excavating at least 330 pounds of simulated moon dirt, known as regolith, and depositing it into a container in 30 minutes or less.

    Launches and Dockings and Robots, Oh My! | Universe Today

  • Andrew Steele of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC, and colleagues shone a green laser at a sample of moon rock, known as regolith, collected by the Apollo 17 mission 40 years ago, the light signal that was returned revealed a crystal structure consistent with whiskers of graphene.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • Since actual lunar rock, known as regolith, is scarce, the students used volcanic ash from a deposit on Earth along with various minerals and basaltic glass, similar to rock on the lunar surface, according to Eric Faierson, a doctoral student who led the Virginia Tech team.


  • In addition, because the regolith is a superinsulator, other heating methods like solar, laser or electric heating only heats the surface. - latest science and technology news stories

  • They'll start by putting the simulated Mars regolith, which is called baghouse dust,

    Universe Today

  • Apollo program, lunar dust or "regolith" as the geologists like to call it proved to be a significant challenge.

    Next Generation: NASA


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