Was Our Moon Once Habitable?
On March 3rd 1969, 50 years ago yesterday, a Saturn 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral for what was the beginning of the Apollo 9 journey.
This mission would pave the way for Neil Armstrong's eventual landing on the moon. To celebrate this anniversary we are asking the question today, was the Moon once habitable?
Today, the moon is not habitable - The planet is covered in potentially killer dust, and is as dry as the bone. However, a new perspective wonders: what if the Moon was once habitable? Recent results show that the Moon is wetter than scientists have previously thought.
Maybe, once, the moon could have been friendly to life? The potential habitability period (if it occurred) could have been just after the Moon’s formation from a collision with Earth 4.5 or 3.5 billion years ago. After this, a period of volcanism may have resulted in a thin lunar atmosphere, which would have lasted around tens of millions of years. Water may have existed on the moon at this point, and in 10 million years, maybe life could have evolved. Although habitability requires more than a significant atmosphere and liquid water, it is still worth wondering whether the Moon could hold life.
Written by Koray Williams, Edited by Rachel Weissman & Alexander Fleiss