Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have found a shadowy spot inside a crater on the Moon that is always around a comfortable temperature of about 17 degrees Celsius, a temperature suitable for humans.
Craters and caves would form thermally stable sites for lunar exploration compared to areas on the lunar surface, reaching temperatures of about 127 °C during the day and cooling down to about -173 °C at night.
Exploring the Moon is part of NASA’s goal to explore and understand the unknown in outer space, to inspire and benefit mankind.
The crater was first discovered on the Moon in 2009, and since then, scientists have wondered whether it led to a cave that could be explored or used as a refuge. It will also protect the crater or cave from cosmic rays, solar radiation and microscopic meteorites.
“Probably about 16 of the more than 200 lava tube collapse craters,” said Tyler Horvath, a UCLA planetary science doctoral student who led the new research recently published in the journal Planetary Science. Geophysical Research Papers.
“Moon craters are a remarkable feature on the surface of the Moon,” said Noah Petro, LRO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Knowing that they form a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the possibilities of one day.”
Horvath processed data from the thermal camera, Diviner, to see if the temperature inside the crater differed from the surface temperature.
Focusing on a 100-metre-deep cylindrical depression that is the length and width of a football field in the Moon’s region known as Mare Tranquillitatis, Horvath and his colleagues studied lunar rock and dust and thermal properties of Plot Crater. Computer modeling was used to analyze the , temperature over time.
The results showed that the temperature inside the permanently shadowed crater stream fluctuated only slightly during the lunar day, hovering around 17 °C. If the cave extends from the bottom of the crater, as shown by the image taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, it would have a relatively comfortable temperature.
The team believes that the dropping shade is responsible for the constant temperature, which limits the heat of objects during the day and prevents heat dissipation at night.
A lunar day lasts about 15 Earth days, during which the surface is constantly bombarded with sunlight and often hot enough to boil water. Very cold nights also last about 15 Earth days.
Launched on 18 June 2009, LRO has accumulated a wealth of data using seven of its powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the Moon.
The above article was published from a news agency with minor edits to the title and text.