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This is an image of the Moon showing various minerals found on the surface.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Outgassing of a Lunar Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the Moon may come from a couple of sources, one source is outgassing which means gases coming from deep within the Moon.

Gases are released from the interior of the Moon during moonquakes. These gases can be measured form a kind of "time machine" that scientists can use to determine what happened on the Moon in the past.

Compared to the Earth, the Moon has a inactive surface. This means there are no volcanos on the Moon. However moonquakes do occur on the Moon, usually coming from between the crust of the Moon and the Moon's core. Scientists can measure the gases from outgassing and learn more about moonquakes.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF