A new study has revealed that Moon once played a pivotal role in the Earth’s evolution. The NASA-led findings said that Moon even shared a magnetic field with the planet. The magnetic field of Earth’s only natural satellite protected the planet from harmful solar radiation. It is believed that the two shared magnetic field some four billion years ago. This helped Earth in maintaining an atmosphere habitable for life. NASA said that it will be following up on the latest findings during the Artemis program. Under the Artemis program, the US space agency is planning to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024.
Researchers figured out that the Moon shared a magnetic field with Earth during the studies of lunar samples from the Apollo missions. Scientists said that they created a computer model to study the pattern of the magnetic fields. They concluded that the Moon’s magnetosphere once acted as a barrier and protected harmful solar wind from reaching Earth. The study noted harmful particles could not penetrate the powerful magnetospheres. It added that magnetospheres were connected magnetically in the polar regions. Both the Earth and Moon also had some atmospheric exchange. Earth has a very powerful magnetic field. It protects the atmosphere which eventually blocks solar radiation.
The study said that a detailed understanding of the Moon’s magnetic field is crucial in understanding the early atmospheres. According to NASA scientists David Draper, the discovery tells about Moon’s core. It is believed that Moon’s core is a combination of solid metal and liquid. But its interior cooled over a period of time and it lost the magnetic field and thus atmosphere. When there is no magnetic field, solar radiation can easily strip the atmosphere away. This is perhaps the reason why Moon lost its atmosphere. The same is the case with Mars. The Red Planet has liquid water and has been a topic of scientific studies for years in search of life beyond Earth.