Moon has always been considered as a quiet and desolated satellite, its peace only disturbed by an occasional meteorite impact or an uncommon terrestrial spacecraft landing. However, the scenario would be very different 3 to 4 billion years ago.
The Moon was formed about 4.5 billion years ago where it was still cooling and geologically active. Massive volcanic eruptions ejected Lava permeating huge basins to form seas. The darker regions we can see with the naked eye.
According to a new study produced in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, discloses that the Moon’s potent volcanism might have exuded massive quantities of gas speedily, adequate to cover the satellite with a thin atmosphere that existed millions of years before it got lost to space.
Debra Needham (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center), author of the new study said that the landscape would have resembled the sea of shining molten rock, with smudges of darker, cooling rocks comprising of a fractured crust on top of lava open to the developing atmosphere. She also reiterated that the atmosphere would look like brownish yellowish haze, due to the presence of Sulfur which could be observed from Earth.
The scientists utilized upgraded quantifications of the protraction discernment of Moon’s seas acquired by lunar missions such as GRAIL, LRO, and the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, to decide the amount of lava discharged during eruptions. They merged that knowledge with laboratory investigation of lunar rocks gathered during the Apollo missions. By evaluating the amount of explosives, material impressionable to emanate in the form of gas, confined in those rocks, the scientists could approximate as to how much gas had emitted into the atmosphere.