Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have found a shadowy spot inside a crater on the Moon that still hovers around a comfortable temperature of around 17 degrees Celsius, a temperature suitable for humans.
The craters and caves would form thermally stable sites for lunar exploration relative to areas of the lunar surface, reaching temperatures of around 127°C during the day and cooling to around -173°C at night.
Exploration of the Moon is part of NASA’s goal to explore and understand the unknown in outer space, to inspire and benefit humanity.
The crater was first discovered on the moon in 2009, and since then scientists have wondered if 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 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.
“Lunar 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 daytime possibilities.”
Horvath processed data from the thermal camera, Diviner, to see if the temperature inside the crater differed from the surface temperature.
Focusing on a cylindrical depression 100 meters deep that is the length and width of a football field in the region of the Moon known as Mare Tranquillitatis, Horvath and his colleagues studied the rock and dust lunar and thermal properties of Plot Crater. Computer modeling was used to analyze 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. image taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, it would have a relatively comfortable temperature.
The team believes that the falling shadow 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 June 18, 2009, LRO has accumulated a wealth of data from seven of its powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the Moon.
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