Could We Create A Livable Atmosphere On The Moon?

Until recently, scientists thought the moon had no atmosphere, but it actually does! What's it made of and can it be made to support life?

For many years, scientists thought the moon had no atmosphere at all. Turns out that's not quite the case. The moon has a very thin atmosphere, called an exosphere, that's about 100 trillion times less dense than our own life-giving blanket of gases.

There are two main components to maintaining a decent atmosphere. You need enough gravity to keep everything in place. But you also need a kind of planetary force field to keep the solar wind at bay. Happily, Earth has both. Sadly, the moon has neither.

So what exactly is in the moon's exosphere, anyway? Is it possible to terraform a more livable atmosphere on the moon? Maybe, but it gets very complicated, and it's not likely to happen any time soon. Resident space expert Amy Shira Teitel has the details in today's DNews dispatch.

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Read More:

NASA: Is There an Atmosphere on the Moon?

Space.com: Mars Lost Atmosphere to Space as Life Took Hold on Earth

UniverseToday: How Do We Terraform The Moon?