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Today, our Moon is barren and inhospitable and it’s hard to imagine that any life could exist on its surface, but now, scientists have found that at two points in our satellite’s four billion year history, the Moon could have contained life.
These two points took place shortly after it formed, and then during a peak in lunar volcanic activity approximately 3.5 billion years ago, according to new research from astrobiologists at Washington State University (WSU) and University of London.
The researchers believe that conditions on the lunar surface were able to support simple lifeforms.
Just like Asgardia believes we can set up a colony of settlements on the moon. Asgardia’s current territory is the satellite Asgardia-1, which has already been launched and is expected to grow, according to our founder Igor Ashurbeyli, who also stated that eventually, there will be a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit, then a constellation in high-Earth orbit.
The scientists think that during both periods outgassing from the volcanic activity could have formed pools of liquid water on the lunar surface, in addition to an atmosphere dense enough to keep the water there for millions of years.
For their work, the researchers took results from recent space missions and used sensitive analyses of lunar rock and soil samples that show how the surface of the moon is not as dry as they had once thought.
Furthermore, in 2009 and 2010, an international team of experts found hundreds of millions of metric tons of water ice on the moon. There is also strong proof of a large amount of water in the lunar mantle, which is believed to have been deposited very early on in the moon’s formation.
It is also probable that the early moon was shielded by a magnetic field that could have protected life forms on the surface from fatal solar winds.
As per the newest research, life on the Moon could have been brought in by a meteorite, similar to one proposed theory for the origins of life on Earth.
The first ever proof for life on Earth comes from fossilized cyanobacteria, dated to between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years old.
At this time, the solar system was controlled by frequent and giant meteorite impacts.
Thus, it is likely that the moon was hit by a meteorite holding simple organisms such as cyanobacteria during one of the points where its surface was habitable.
Scientists also believe the celestial body may have inherited simple organisms blasted off the surface of the Earth which landed on the Moon.
Professor Dirk Schulze-Makuch, of WSU, said that it seems very much like the Moon was livable at this time and there could have actually been microbes thriving in pools of water on the Moon until the surface dried up and died.
The team also noted that figuring out if life arose on the Moon or was transported from elsewhere can only be addressed by an aggressive future program of lunar exploration.
One promising future space mission would be to collect samples from deposits from the period of heightened volcanic activity to see if they held water or other possible markers of life.
What’s more, they could perform experiments in simulated lunar environments on Earth and on the International Space Station to find out if microorganisms can survive under the environmental conditions predicted to have existed on the early Moon.
Their work was published in the journal Astrobiology.
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The post New Research Suggests Our Moon Could have Contained Life 4 Billion Years Ago appeared first on Asgardia Space News.