Does the Moon have any oxygen in its atmosphere?

  • Since the moon has gravity, it's almost impossible that there aren't some gasses trapped on the surface by the moon's gravity. Has any free-floating oxygen been found on the Moon? If so, in what concentration?


    Although according to Wikipedia about composition of the moon soil includes 45% Oxygen. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Moon

  • GreenMatt

    GreenMatt Correct answer

    8 years ago

    The Moon's atmosphere is very thin compared to the Earth, so thin that it is usually said to have no atmosphere. The Moon's gravity is not strong enough to retain lighter elements, so they escape into space.



    Apollo 17 carried an instrument called the Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment (LACE). Oxygen is not listed as one of the elements it found on this NASA web page. The principle gases found were neon, helium and hydrogen. Others included methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and water. Additionally, ground instruments have detected sodium and potassium in the lunar atmosphere.



    The recently launched Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Experiment (LADEE - pronounced laddie, not lady) should be able to tell us more soon.



    Update:
    According to this article at Spaceflight Now, LADEE did detect oxygen in the Moon's atmosphere.


    How silly! It should be pronounced as in Ladurée

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM