A new analysis argues that there space two windows in the moon"s past when it can have been habitable

Though over there is no direct evidence because that life yet, future missions can uncover it

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although the moon could look desolate and pock-marked with impact craters today, new research says that that may have once supported life.

A study published Monday in the newspaper Astrobiology cites two time periods during the moon’s remote past when conditions on the surface ar were possibly habitable.

soon after the moon was developing from a debris disk 4 billion year ago, it was releasing water vapor and other volatile gases in fixed quantities. The second event happened about 3.5 billion year ago, once volcanic task on the moon got to a peak.

~ above both occasions, the release of these volatile gases would certainly have created liquid water pools on the surface, as well as a dense atmosphere that could stay in location for numerous years. It many likely had a magnetic field too that can have protected any life on the surface from solar wind, a deadly flow of charged particles streaming out of the sun.

Today, the moon doesn’t have actually an atmosphere but a an extremely thin great of gases, consisting of sodium and potassium, that try to act like an atmosphere.


“It looks very much favor the moon to be habitable at this time” billions of year ago, study writer Dirk Schulze-Makuch, an astrobiologist in ~ Washington State University, claimed in a statement. “There can have in reality been microbes prospering in water pools top top the Moon till the surface became dry and also dead.”

The brand-new study depends on data from an are missions and analysis of rock and soil samples from the moon. In recent years, research studies have said that there is much more water ice on the moon than formerly believed and that water can exist beneath the surface.

but what would life have actually looked prefer if it existed on the moon, and also how did that originate?

on Earth, the earliest evidence of life can be traced to cyanobacteria fossils between 3.5 billion and 3.8 billion year old. Cyanobacteria are microscopic single-celled biology that create oxygen through photosynthesis.

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The ingredients for life have been found in meteorites before, and also it is believed that meteorites might have helped bring water to earth in the early time of its formation. The researcher for this research propose the in the beforehand days of our solar system, it’s feasible that meteorites that come in contact with Earth and also “blasted turn off its surface” could have likewise landed on the moon.

This was typical in the beforehand solar system, when huge impacts and the transport of meteorites in between planets occurred, follow to the study.

If so, the meteorites might have carried microbes to the moon, and also those microbes might have resided in pools of water on the surface.

“If fluid water and a far-ranging atmosphere were existing on the at an early stage Moon for lengthy periods of time, us think the lunar surface would have been at least transiently habitable,” Schulze-Makuch stated in a statement.