With 38 million kilometres of wide, vacuum space between them, one wouldn’t assume the moon and Venus to ever exchange their surface contents. However, Samuel Cabot and Gregory Laughlin from Yale University suggest that there might be Venusian material present on the surface of the moon.
According to them, there might have been comet and asteroid impacts on Venus that dislodged over 10 billion rocks from its surface. These rocks then floated out to the orbit that happened to intersect with that of Earth and our Moon. Subsequently, these space rocks floating in the vacuum of space could have been pulled over by Moon’s gravity.
“Some of these rocks will eventually land on the Moon as Venusian meteorites,” said Cabot. They added that catastrophic impacts like this could happen only once in a hundred million years today. However, they would have been a frequent occurrence billions of years ago.
If any of those rocks landed on Earth then, they would be buried extremely deep due to the constant geological activity on this planet. However, anything that landed on the moon might be as safe as possible, preserved and intact, they further explained.
Therefore, to study Venus from a distance, analysing the rocks on the moon could be extremely useful study material, like a cheat sheet for exams.
Venus has been a topic of interest for astronomers as phosphine was spotted on the planet’s surface. Phosphine is mostly associated with bio or geochemical origins. Because of this, the discovery piqued the interest of scientists and alien-life enthusiasts all around.
While Venus is a toxic, inhospitable planet today, it may not have been this way forever. CNET reported that it may have been hospitable and had oceans as recent as 700 million years ago! The study by Cabot and Laughlin was published in the Planetary Science Journal as “Lunar Exploration as a Probe of Ancient Venus.”
The idea may be tested out sooner than you think. NASA recently announced it would be allowing the purchase of moon rocks from private space missions. Companies like Space X (USA) and Origin Space (China) have already announced and are planning their individual space missions. Whereas NASA itself has the Artemis Moon Mission in 2024 which will be taking the first woman on the moon.