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Proceedings Paper

Potential for prebiotic chemistry at the poles of the Moon
Author(s): Paul G. Lucey
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Paper Abstract

The samples returned from the lunar surface by Apollo were devoid of organic material, an observation that satisfied the scientific community that the Moon is irrelevant to the topic of life in the universe. However, the equatorial regions of the Moon sampled by Apollo and Luna are not representative of the Moon as a whole. The lunar poles harbor a microenvironment which possess conditions utterly unlike those of the lunar equator. These conditions may allow in situ production of organics on the Moon from indigenous inorganic material. If this is the case, the Moon may allow field-testing of models of inorganic synthesis which have been invoked for many surfaces in the solar system, and even interstellar clouds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2000
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4137, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III, (29 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.411612
Show Author Affiliations
Paul G. Lucey, Univ. of Hawaii/Manoa (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4137:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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