When most of us move, we pick existing houses or apartments instead of building from scratch. And that could be an option for future explorers on the Moon. Scientists have identified some structures that could be entryways to roomy accommodations. They’re not secret bases built by aliens. Instead, they’re holes in the ground — “pit” craters that could link up with long, deep caves.
Living on the Moon would be dangerous. There’s no air, the temperatures range from extremely hot to extremely cold, and the surface is pelted by radiation and space rocks. A habitat inside a cave would offer protection from those hazards.
Scientists have identified almost 300 pit craters. Most of them link to underground tubes, which once carried molten lava. When the lava went away, parts of the tubes collapsed, forming the pits. But parts of the tubes remain intact, creating caves that could go on for miles.
A team recently picked out four pit craters that are especially interesting. Their caves could make good habitats for lunar explorers, and provide a lot of information about the Moon’s geologic history.
The leading candidate is in the Marius Hills, on the Moon’s Ocean of Storms. The others are in the Sea of Tranquility, Sea of Cleverness, and Lake of Death — possible addresses for lunar explorers.
The crescent Moon is low in the sky at dawn tomorrow. And it has a brilliant companion: Venus — the “morning star.”
Script by Damond Benningfield