Studying life's Processes and Origin on the Moon

A recent study indicates that water ice and simple molecules of carbon and nitrogen might form the seed material for more complex substances, some of which might ultimately be involved in the origin of life.

The work from the University of Hawaii took measurements of the levels of cosmic radiation from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and applied it to a composition similar to that observed by the impacting LCROSS probe at the south pole of the Moon. As you may recall, this probe found both water vapor and ice particles ejected by the impact in one of the permanently dark regions near the pole; it also observed additional compounds, including methane, ammonia and some other simple organic molecules. These substances are present in cometary ices and thus, it was thought that their presence could indicate a cometary origin for the Moon's polar ice.

Read the whole story by Paul Spudis at Air & Space Magazine

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