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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" 
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.



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