Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?

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Offline GlentoranMark

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« on: 13/09/2009 11:45:35 »
And could it be terraformed?

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Offline Don_1

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« Reply #1 on: 13/09/2009 12:10:46 »
The moon does have an atmosphere, but it is around 1 trillionth that of Earth's.

Quote from: NASA
Estimated Composition (particles per cubic cm):
    Helium 4 (4He) - 40,000 ; Neon 20 (20Ne) - 40,000 ; Hydrogen (H2) - 35,000
    Argon 40 (40Ar) - 30,000 ; Neon 22 (22Ne) - 5,000 ; Argon 36 (36Ar) - 2,000
    Methane - 1000 ; Ammonia - 1000 ; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - 1000
    Trace Oxygen (O+), Aluminum (Al+), Silicon (Si+)
    Possible Phosphorus (P+), Sodium (Na+), Magnesium (Mg+)
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline neilep

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« Reply #2 on: 13/09/2009 13:40:23 »
Can a cabbage have an atmosphere ?


[attachment=9843]
Mars..The Cabbage Planet Of War !



...even if it's only a few atoms thick ?
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline GlentoranMark

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« Reply #3 on: 13/09/2009 14:28:25 »
The moon does have an atmosphere, but it is around 1 trillionth that of Earth's.

Quote from: NASA
Estimated Composition (particles per cubic cm):
    Helium 4 (4He) - 40,000 ; Neon 20 (20Ne) - 40,000 ; Hydrogen (H2) - 35,000
    Argon 40 (40Ar) - 30,000 ; Neon 22 (22Ne) - 5,000 ; Argon 36 (36Ar) - 2,000
    Methane - 1000 ; Ammonia - 1000 ; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - 1000
    Trace Oxygen (O+), Aluminum (Al+), Silicon (Si+)
    Possible Phosphorus (P+), Sodium (Na+), Magnesium (Mg+)

I know there are some trace gases on the Moon but thats not my question.

If we could magic an atmosphere onto the Moon, would its gravity hold onto it? Could it support life if we sent enough of the right ingredients?

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Offline Vern

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« Reply #4 on: 13/09/2009 16:03:54 »
There is probably a way to determine this, but we can know that the moon is pretty well settled in with the amount of atmosphere it can hold on to. If we artificially increase the moons atmosphere, it would gradually lose it. It would lose it at some rate and would need constant replenishment.

I suspect it would be easier to construct a pressure dome to hold an atmosphere. There would need to be some very lucrative incentive for something like that to be sustainable.

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Offline syhprum

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Could the Moon hold onto an atmosphere?
« Reply #5 on: 13/09/2009 17:37:44 »
I think it depends how far you move it away from the sun, Saturns moon Titan has a mass twice that of our moon and is able to retain an atmosphere i.6 times the density of that of Earth.
In that low temperature environment our moon could probably retain a considerable atmosphere but in its present location it only retains a very thin one.
syhprum