The mystery surrounding the creation of the Moon and its direct link with our Earth is still at the heart of much research. A collective of scientists, from NASA, the University of Maryland and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton, realized that the Moon could have played the role of Earth’s shield several billion years ago.
This study published in Science Advances this Wednesday October 14 and relayed by Numerama, is based on lunar samples from Apollo. These samples tend to think that the Moon has its own magnetic field. Scientists were then able to simulate the magnetic fields of the Moon and the Earth under the conditions from 4 billion years ago.
By studying several orbital positions, they observed connections between the magnetic field of our planet and that of the Moon. Connections that make them think that at certain times, the Moon was able to protect the Earth from solar winds, namely cosmic rays and particles emitted by the Sun. These solar storms destroy a planet’s atmosphere over time, and only a strong magnetic field could provide maximum protection, explains this study.
“A protective barrier”
“The Moon appears to have been a substantial protective barrier against the solar wind for the Earth, which was essential to the Earth’s ability to maintain its atmosphere during this period,” explains in a NASA press release , physicist James L. Green, co-author of the study. NASA specifies that this protection has been able to help our planet to finally develop conditions of life and habitability. The mystery of the relationship that may have existed between the Moon and the Earth still remains great. New samples of the lunar surface will surely provide more clues in the future.