Caves on the Moon?

Possible protection from the lunar surface, where it may be as hot as 212°F during the day and as cold as -238°F just before dawn.

There has been a discovery of a huge cave on the moon. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)[1], using data from their space probe, in 2009 after the Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE)[2], detected a 164-foot wide cave opening on October 18, 2017.

Believed to have been created from volcanic activity, possibly a lava tube. The cave is 31 miles long and 328 feet wide, located beneath a region of volcanic domes known as the Marius Hills[3]. The cave has already been proposed as a possible candidate for a future lunar exploration base or human colony.

A new analysis of data gathered by NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)[4] spacecraft, which mapped the moon’s gravitational field in unprecedented detail, turned up a number of new candidates for lava tubes — cave-like structures.

The cave could protect from the harsh environment as a shelter for explorers. Radiation from the sun, galactic cosmic rays and constantly falling micrometeorites all present a threat to human explorers. there are many possibilities for finding usable lava tubes.

We would like to send a radar-based mission. That will give us the possibility to recognize those lava tubes with much more clarity, and potentially find lava tubes that are smaller, that are beyond the resolution of GRAIL

Rohan Sood (graduate student at Purdue University in Indiana) told Space.com


Footnotes
  1. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). It was designated as a core performance agency to support the Japanese government’s overall aerospace development and utilization. JAXA, therefore, can conduct integrated operations from basic research and development to utilization.
  2. The SELenological and ENgineering Explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE), Japan’s first large lunar explorer, was launched by the H-IIA rocket on September 14, 2007 (JST). The mission, which is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program, is being keenly anticipated by many countries. The major objectives of the mission are to understand the Moon’s origin and evolution and to observe the moon in various ways in order to utilize it in the future.
  3. The Marius Hills are a set of volcanic domes located in Oceanus Procellarum on Earth’s Moon. The domes are thought to have formed from lavas fairly more viscous than those that formed lunar mares. These domes average approximately 660–1,640 ft in height. The Marius Hills take their name from the nearby (25 mi) diameter crater, Marius. These hills represent the highest concentration of volcanic features on the Moon.
  4. GRAIL was a system of two satellites that orbited the moon in tandem measuring the lunar gravitational field in a similar manner to the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). With the information GRAIL gathered, scientists determined the structure of the lunar interior from the crust to the core and advanced our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

Sources

Australian Geographic
Time
Space
NASA
Smithsonian Magazine


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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