Some pits on the Moon have temperatures comfortable for humans, NASA finds
There's a possibility that humans will live on Moon — someday, one day. This is not just science fiction, scientists are actually optimistic as multiple researchers attempt to know how the so-called lunar habitation will happen in reality. But, even the experts are aware that setting up camp on the Moon is more difficult than sending astronauts there.
This can be simplified a bit. In the latest development, the American space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), suggested that humans could live in caves on Moon.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft finds pits on the lunar surface that always hover around a comfortable temperature of 63F (about 17C). NASA-funded scientists found it using data from LRO spacecraft and computer modelling.
NASA stated that the pits were first discovered on the Moon in 2009. After that, scientists have been exploring whether or not those caves could be used as shelters.
NASA also noted that those pits or caves would also offer some protection from cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites.
Scientists used computer modelling to analyse the thermal properties of the rock and lunar dust and to understand the pit's temperatures over time, NASA said.
The findings showed that the temperatures within the permanently shadowed reaches of the pit fluctuate only slightly throughout the lunar day. It remains at around 63 F (or 17 C).
It means the a nearside pit crater in the Moon's Sea of Tranquility is with room temperatures. The room temperature is identified as around 68–72 F (20–22 C) or in some cases 68 F (20 C).
As quoted by the NASA website, Tyler Horvath, who is a doctoral student in planetary science at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, "About 16 of the more than 200 pits are probably collapsed lava tubes." Horvath led the new research, recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said, "Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface. Knowing that they create a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the prospect of one day exploring them."
"Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves we might return when we live on the Moon," said David Paige, a co-author of the paper who leads the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment aboard LRO that made the temperature measurements used in the study.