Where on the moon would you want to live in the future? Well, definitely not in the coolest or the hottest place where the temperature. It is because the moon shows extreme temperature fluctuations where a section heats up at 127° during the day while it dips to -173° during the night. Well, you wouldn’t want to live in places like this for sure. Turns out researchers have found 200 Goldilocks zones on the surface of the moon where the average temperature matches that of San Francisco, California.
Lunar researchers discovered 200 Goldilocks zones on the moon
According to the extract, researchers have found out that humans could live in any of the 200 shaded lunar pits where the average temperature is around 17°. Since these are pits, it would eventually save humans from micrometeorites that bombard the lunar surface every second. It will protect humans from cosmic rays and solar winds to name a few.
According to Tyler Horvath, a doctoral student in planetary science at UoC in a research paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, surviving on the moon during the night (when the temperatures are extremely low) is difficult as it would require a lot of energy. However, living inside these pits would bypass the requirements of huge energy expenditure allowing humans to live in breezy temperatures.
NASA’s robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) deployed its thermal camera called the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment to find these pits. For context, one of the initiate pits was found by the researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) using it’s SELENE or SELenological and ENgineering Explorer back in 2009.
The paper further adds that the researchers found 200 pits of which, 16 are skylights to collapsed lava tubes and two or three are overhangs that might lead to caves. Lava tubes are common on Earth around volcanic regions such as the La Cueva del Viento on Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Kazumura Cave in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park among others.
The hottest temperature on the lunar surface is at one of the cylindrical pits in Mare Tranquillitatis where the temperature exceeded 149° whereas some of the pits that have been permanently shadowed have fluctuated slightly much the Earth’s.
The said pit is in the Mares Tranquillitatis and is just 375 kilometers away from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 landing sites. Missions to these pits would also ensure that we get to have a glance at the equipment left during the Apollo missions more than six decades ago.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory initiated the study titled Moon Diver mission in 2020 where it proposed rovers that could venture into the pits to explore the existing caves. As Horvath mentioned, there’s not enough research left to do on the pits from the orbit and instead, it would be beneficial if a rover could go inside to find more details.
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