An artist’s rendering shows what it might have looked like, shrouded in an atmosphere thicker than that of Mars with volcanoes glowing on the lunar surface.
The research indicates that the atmosphere might have been a source for some, if not all, of the water detected on the moon.
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The finding began with the study of volcanic rocks brought back to Earth.
Researchers used the samples to estimate the amount and composition of gases released by eruptions of lava on the Moon billions of years ago.
The Moon’s atmosphere is estimated to have been relatively shorted-lived, lasting approximately 70 million years.