Question Moon atmosphere

Nov 25, 2019
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I would like to first explain where I am coming from... I am a 50 something male with a deep and long enduring fascination with all things space - and space science -related.
However, without the backing of a formal science education, I lack the scientific knowledge that is prerequisite in answering my 'thought experiments'. In other words my questions may either come across as childlike, or worse as 'duh, well everyone knows....'
The answers I seek are hopefully informative but not too harsh or dismissive!
My question I suppose would be in the category of terraforming. Would it ever be possible - if only in theory, to provide the moon with an (albeit temporary) atmosphere.?
So, the artificial introduction of Nitrogen and oxygen etc,
Even given that the reduced gravity in comparison to earth would not sustain it, is it not possible?
(putting aside money, and physical constraints)
Is it that it would just float away into space?

Andrew
 
Dec 24, 2019
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The moon could contain air if someone put it there, it has a gravity field atmosphere that could contain air but it would require a lot in order to accomplish.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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The moon could contain air if someone put it there, it has a gravity field atmosphere that could contain air but it would require a lot in order to accomplish.
Actually, the Moon has an atmosphere, but it is very slight. The entire mass of the atmosphere is about 22,000 lbs. It has a density of ~100 molecules per cc, compared to the ~100 Quintillion molecules per cc on Earth at sea level. The weak gravity, combined with the lack of a significant magnetic field, and the extreme temperature changes, precludes the Moon ever being able to retain any significant atmosphere.
 
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Jan 7, 2020
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Actually, the Moon has an atmosphere, but it is very slight. The entire mass of the atmosphere is about 22,000 lbs. It has a density of ~100 molecules per cc, compared to the ~100 Quintillion molecules per cc on Earth at sea level. The weak gravity, combined with the lack of a significant magnetic field, and the extreme temperature changes, precludes the Moon ever being able to retain any significant atmosphere.
Agreed, except gravity has nothing to do with it. Look at the mass of some moons, asteroids and even planets with very thin atmospheres and it will become apparent that gravity is not the answer. When the moon passes directly between the earth and sun, the sun exerts either 2x the force of the gravity of the earth. How do we have a moon? Gravity does not appear to be very important to an atmosphere. The lack of large magnetic field is something shared by the moon and Mars, both of which have weak atmospheres.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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Agreed, except gravity has nothing to do with it.
Gravity is a factor with an atmosphere. Gravity determines how far from the surface the atmosphere will extend. The further out the atmosphere extends, the more surface area it presents to the solar wind which strips it away. The magnetosphere is a major factor, but gravity, along with other factors, figures in.
 
Jan 7, 2020
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Gravity is a factor with an atmosphere. Gravity determines how far from the surface the atmosphere will extend. The further out the atmosphere extends, the more surface area it presents to the solar wind which strips it away. The magnetosphere is a major factor, but gravity, along with other factors, figures in.
I oversimplified and was incorrect as a result. Gravity is not tied to mass in the same way that is suggested with the idea of the constant G. It does not look like mass is the defining factor in gravity, as we have seen things with atmospheres that should not have them. By assigning a value to G based on the rate things fall compared to earth gravity is determined. With some of the masses we have seen with atmospheres, certain features on earth should have their own effect on gravity, but they do not. Gravity is not a constant on earth and actually fluxuates by location, even based on depth of the probe or altitude of the probe.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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Gravity is not a constant on earth and actually fluxuates by location, even based on depth of the probe or altitude of the probe.
This is getting a bit off topic. However, it is interesting to note that back in the early days of surveying this Continent, many of the measurements were off slightly because the plumb bobs of the surveying instruments were affected by the gravity of nearby mountains.
 
Jan 7, 2020
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This is getting a bit off topic. However, it is interesting to note that back in the early days of surveying this Continent, many of the measurements were off slightly because the plumb bobs of the surveying instruments were affected by the gravity of nearby mountains.
I like the EU Theory, as I have not found anything wrong with it and Wal Thornhill did a really good presentation on gravity. I like to recommend lectures due to the fact that if someone has already explained it well, then don't reinvent the wheel. Also, I have time on my hands so listening to lectures is a good way to spend it.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkWiBxWieQU&list=PLwOAYhBuU3Uf4IJtxULr14MQ3_a4s_GoC&index=6&t=0s
 
Jan 9, 2020
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I would like to first explain where I am coming from... I am a 50 something male with a deep and long enduring fascination with all things space - and space science -related.
However, without the backing of a formal science education, I lack the scientific knowledge that is prerequisite in answering my 'thought experiments'. In other words my questions may either come across as childlike, or worse as 'duh, well everyone knows....'
The answers I seek are hopefully informative but not too harsh or dismissive!
My question I suppose would be in the category of terraforming. Would it ever be possible - if only in theory, to provide the moon with an (albeit temporary) atmosphere.?
So, the artificial introduction of Nitrogen and oxygen etc,
Even given that the reduced gravity in comparison to earth would not sustain it, is it not possible?
(putting aside money, and physical constraints)
Is it that it would just float away into space?

Andrew
 
Jan 9, 2020
26
4
35
The problem is that the moon for all intents is geologically dead at this point. We can't locate any plate tectonics that are say making new minerals & it is not getting blasted by meteorites or asteroids to create such explosions to manufacture new elements. So at this point I can't see an atmosphere building block in place. There is no active volcanism going on or weather which would be 2 building blocks to possibly give rise to nitrogen compounds or carbon compounds. Then the next block would be some kind of bacteria that would utilize one of these elements while spitting another as metabolici waste.
 
Jan 10, 2020
46
12
35
I would like to first explain where I am coming from... I am a 50 something male with a deep and long enduring fascination with all things space - and space science -related.
However, without the backing of a formal science education, I lack the scientific knowledge that is prerequisite in answering my 'thought experiments'. In other words my questions may either come across as childlike, or worse as 'duh, well everyone knows....'
The answers I seek are hopefully informative but not too harsh or dismissive!
My question I suppose would be in the category of terraforming. Would it ever be possible - if only in theory, to provide the moon with an (albeit temporary) atmosphere.?
So, the artificial introduction of Nitrogen and oxygen etc,
Even given that the reduced gravity in comparison to earth would not sustain it, is it not possible?
(putting aside money, and physical constraints)
Is it that it would just float away into space?

Andrew
 
Jan 10, 2020
46
12
35
I understand that it is now believed that the moon did have a substantial atmosphere very early in it's existence. This was lost fairly quickly, in part due to lack of sufficient magnetic field. Have no idea what it was composed of.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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I understand that it is now believed that the moon did have a substantial atmosphere very early in it's existence. This was lost fairly quickly, in part due to lack of sufficient magnetic field. Have no idea what it was composed of.
The estimates seem to indicate that it may have been about 1.5 times denser than the current atmosphere of Mars, which made it about 1.4% of Earth atmosphere at sea level.
 
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Jan 9, 2020
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We don't have a perfect theory on moon formation but the accepted one is some great object slammed into earth & that was the debris blown out. Other theory has to do with simultaneous formation with the earth-they do share a lot of the same materials.
 
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Reactions: Craftsman X
Jan 10, 2020
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We don't have a perfect theory on moon formation but the accepted one is some great object slammed into earth & that was the debris blown out. Other theory has to do with simultaneous formation with the earth-they do share a lot of the same materials.
 
Jan 10, 2020
46
12
35
At one time the impact theory of moon formation was supported by the fact that asteroid water has a higher percentage of deutronium than earth water. If earth water did not come from Asteroid impacts then it had to have come from elsewhere, maybe an planet that migrated inward from beyond the ice zone boundary. Recent evidence has indicated that high levels of deutronium are only on the outer surface of the asteroids studied (interior water like earth water), giving more credence to the simultaneous earth/moon theory.
 

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