Was Earth’s Moon once hab­it­able?

How It Works - - SCIENCE -

While much of the fo­cus for hab­it­abil­ity is on the icy moons in the outer So­lar Sys­tem, our own Moon could be a sur­pris­ing tar­get too. Find­ings sug­gest that its rocks are richer in water than we thought, and it’s es­ti­mated that about 3.5 bil­lion years ago it had an at­mos­phere about one per cent as thick as ours, thereby thicker than that on Mars. Put this all to­gether and sci­en­tists think the Moon could have sup­ported liq­uid water for mil­lions of years around this time, dur­ing a pe­riod when life on our own world – which was pos­si­bly de­liv­ered by comets or as­ter­oids – was only just start­ing to de­velop. It could be that life on Earth spread to the Moon via me­te­orite im­pacts, a process called lithopansper­mia. But there are no clear signs of bod­ies of an­cient water on the Moon, so this idea will re­quire fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion in fu­ture.

The young Moon could have sup­ported water for a short amount of time

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