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  • Moon

The total rate of volcanic release of gases into the lunar atmosphere is estimated to be less than 60 g/sec. One of the implications of this degassing is that, if it occurs as sporadic releases of large quantities of gas, these events can be detected by an orbiting mass spectrometer, such as that carried on the flight of Apollo 15 and one that will operate during the Apollo 16 mission. The nature of a volcanic perturbation of the lunar atmosphere is discussed, and a lower bound is derived for the expected time between detected events.