The Moon “Caves” may provide stable temperatures for humans: During the early times of human existence, caves protected the early men from natural elements, predators and a place to call home. Similar formations on our Earth’s moon could provide astronauts with a safe haven. This is all thanks to their Earth-like temperatures. UCLA scientists have recently made a groundbreaking discovery. They found that pit craters on the surface of the moon have stable temperatures for humans.
Thermally Stable Pits
The moon’s surface warms up to 260 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and falls to minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit at night. But, these pits covered with shaded areas stay steady at around 63 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperate range is stable for humans. This can have huge implications on moon voyages as these spots will be the ideal landing zones. The Geophysical Research Letters journal published this study in July.
David Paige, the study’s co-author, said in a news release. “Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves, we may return when we live on the moon.”
These pit craters are entrance ways to caves and may help scientists to be able to set up a thermally stable camp. These potential caves can broaden lunar exploration and, someday, a long-term habitation. Now that we better understand these pit crater caves, the concept of building a workable permanent station on the lunar surface is headed to become a reality. This “permanent workstation” will be thermally protected.
Analysis of these pits
This groundbreaking data comes from analyzing images taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and computer modelling.
Briony Horgan, associate professor at Purdue University, said” The fact that they can evaluate that data from these pits and prove that was pretty convincing, I think, is a big step forward in looking at the moon.”
Scientists are trying to gain as much knowledge about these pits as possible. These caves will let us better understand how other extreme environments on the lunar surface behave. This is essential for the upcoming Artemis mission heading to the moon. The Artemis program of NASA aims to return humans to the moon. Its objective is to land the first person of colour and the first woman on the lunar surface by 2025.
Long-term Workstation on the moon.
Lunar surface temperatures fluctuate enormously. This makes it difficult for NASA to design heating and cooling systems supporting long-term explorations. However, in light of this discovery, NASA may not need equipment as complex as assumed to make habitation and exploration a reality.
Talking about these pits, Horvath said in a news release, “About 16 of the more than 200 pits are most probably collapsed lava tubes. When a lava tube, a hollow, long cave-like formation formed by lava — collapses, it creates a pit that can open an entrance to the rest of the cave.
“Caves offer significant protection against micrometeorite impacts and solar radiation,” said Horgan. “It would be beneficial to build on this research with radar data and find more potential caves,” He added.
“In order to understand better future missions and the lunar surface, NASA’s robotic exploration Commercial program Lunar Payload Services (LRO) continues to chart the surface’s temperature”, Petro said.