The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) data suggests that the pits on the Moon have the most stable temperatures and can be the perfect spot for a lunar base.
Ever since China announced its intention to build a Moon base in a collaboration with Russia, NASA has accelerated its efforts to make the Moon habitable first. And as a first major breakthrough, the American space agency has found the perfect location to set up a moon base on the Moon, and it is inside a pit. The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has revealed this data that the pits on the lunar surface are the source of some of the most stable temperatures on the entire natural satellite. So, these spots would be thermally stable allowing lunar exploration to take place.
NASA revealed in a post that these pits keep a temperature of about 17 degrees Celsius at all times unlike the surface of the Moon where during the day it goes as high as 127 degrees Celsius and it goes as low as -173 degrees Celsius during the night. So, lunar exploration will be impossible if the base was to be set up on the surface.
NASA finds the perfect location for lunar base
These pits were first discovered in 2009 and the earliest assumption was that they were openings that led to underground caves. Scientists believed that the pits can be useful for multiple purposes from shelter, exploration avenues, as well as to protect astronauts from cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites.
“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,” said Noah Petro, LRO project scientist at NASA.
The particular pit used to analyze the thermal properties by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was in an area of the Moon known as the Mare Tranquillitatis. It is 100-meters deep and as wide as a football field. Scientists believe that the overhang of the pit is responsible for creating shadows on the Moon and keeping a consistent temperature of about 17 degrees Celsius.
“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.