The Atlantic

The Moon May Be Covered With Oxygen Beamed From Earth

The gas travels alongside particles from the sun, and could offer clues to life’s origins.
Source: Amr Dalsh / Reuters

Not long after the Earth cooled down, a few hundred million years after its crust solidified, life showed up. Fossils called stromatolites, which are sediments stuck together by ancient bacterial colonies, tell the story of our oldest known ancestors on this planet. But the record of life on Earth is not confined to the Earth. Life has plenty of calling cards, and some of them—like radio waves, for instance—escape the planet and head to the stars.

Even the most ancient signatures of life have arrived somewhere else, according to a new study in Nature. The moon is dusted in a fine layer of oxygen, suggesting Earth’s

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