NASA finds wells on the moon with ‘comfy’ temperatures for people
Discovery opens up prospects for lunar explorationr
The American Space Agency (NASA) reported that scientists have discovered shady locations within wells in the Moon that have a constant temperature around a “comfortable 17ºC”. The NASA-funded researchers used data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. The discovery opens up prospects for lunar exploration.
Two of the most prominent pits have visible ledges that, according to NASA, “clearly lead to caves or voids.” Scientists believe that these bumps are responsible for the perennial temperature – limiting the heat during the day, and preventing it from getting so cold at night.
But why is this so important? A day on the Moon lasts about 15 Earth days. During the period, the surface of the natural satellite is constantly bombarded by sunlight and reaches high temperatures, up to 127ºC. The nights are also extremely cold and reach -173ºC.
Since 2009, when these pits were discovered, scientists have wondered if they lead to caves that can be explored and used as shelter, as the lunar surface is not so “friendly”. Exploring the Moon is one of the main goals of the American agency.
“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 can return when we live on the Moon,” David Paige, co-author of the research, recalled to the NASA portal.
The launch of NASA’s mission that will return to the Moon, Artemis I, already has three possible dates: August 29, September 2 and September 5. On Tuesday, 26, the agency released a trailer for the mission, which shows the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and simulates the disconnection of the Orion capsule.
July has been a particularly busy month for the agency. Even before announcing the possible dates of the Artemis I mission, it released the first images captured by the James Webb space telescope, showed photos of Jupiter taken by the same observatory and even had Brazilian capitals as photographic models of the international space station (ISS).