From: "Ben Hutchison [Intamission]"
Subject: Re: (urth) For Jerry- a response Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 11:04:29 -0000 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andy Robertson" To: Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 11:20 PM Subject: Re: (urth) For Jerry- a response > > > It's been previously discussed that Lune hasn't sufficient > > gravity to retain an atmosphere; given that gravity manipulation > > is featured discretely in Severian's time, it's possible that > > Lune's gravity was increased during the age of wonders > > to keep the air held down. > > Actually the moon would, I believe, hold an atmosphere for quite a long > time, but not for geological timespans. > > One simple posibility is that a lot of smaller bodies were dumped upon it, > increasing its mass and its budget of volatiles. This offers a way of > terraforming it at the "Terran" level of technology and also of increasing > its gravity. > My understanding is that a strong panetary magnetic field, as earth has, protects the atmosphere from the erosion caused by solar wind by deflecting incoming solar particles. This is a greater determinant of the presence of atmosphere than a planet's mass. I suspect the moon could retain an atmosphere too if a magnetic envelope could somehow be induced around it. Gradual losses from the moon's future atmosphere might be replaced by gas extraction from moonrock; rich in oxides, though Im unsure if it contains enough carbon or nitrogen. Ben --