Man On the Moon? New Study Suggests the Moon May Have Supported Alien Life

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 - 2:19PM
Astronomy
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 - 2:19PM
Man On the Moon? New Study Suggests the Moon May Have Supported Alien Life
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Image Credit: Pixabay
As a child, you probably heard stories and nursery rhymes about the man in the moon and were disappointed when you learned that no such man exists. Depending on who you ask, there are no living creatures (or Transformers) currently hanging out in the craters on the dark side. According to a new study, however, earlier conditions on the moon may have supported life at least twice in the past 4 billion years.



Published in the journal Astrobiology and co-authored by Washington State University astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch and University of London professor Ian A. Crawford, the study argues that life could have survived on the moon 4 billion years ago (half a billion years after it is believed to have formed) when it was releasing large quantities of vapor and gases, and again 3.5 billion years ago at the peak of its volcanic activity. The pools of water could have been thriving with microbes that can't live there now that the surface is undeniably dry. "If liquid water and a significant atmosphere were present on the early Moon for millions of years, it can be assumed that the lunar surface was at least transiently habitable and probably also had an inventory of the building blocks required for life," wrote Schule-Makuch and Crawford. There are some theories that say that water ice still lurks beneath the dry surface of the moon, but with no atmosphere to speak of and other changes that occurred over millennia, attempts to find life on the surface have so far been unsuccessful.

So how would life have gotten to the moon in the first place? The authors of the study offer that meteorites could have hit Earth and bounced off with a trajectory that landed them on the moon. Microbes could have hitched rides on the space rocks and remained alive in the water pools. Or they could have somehow originated on the moon itself. "Whether life ever arose on the Moon, or was transported to it from elsewhere, is of course highly speculative and can only be addressed by an aggressive future program of lunar exploration," the researchers said in their article.
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