A Harsh Mistress
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Scientists recently discovered that Earth’s satellite is not entirely inhospitable, saying there are spots on the moon that are “very cozy,” the Atlantic reported.
A research team recently analyzed data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of two lunar caverns located in the Sea of Tranquility in the Moon’s northern hemisphere.
Their findings showed that one of these cylindrical-shaped caverns had a pleasant, cool temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit that didn’t change much from a lunar day to night.
A lunar day lasts about a month on Earth, which means that the Moon’s surface experiences about 15 days of nonstop, scorching sunlight that can boil water. The lunar night, meanwhile, is a period of intense cold.
Lead author Tyler Horvath explained that sunlight illuminates only a part of the 328-feet-deep cavern, while the rest is permanently in the shade. This prevents it from heating up too much and stops the warmth from escaping at night.
But Horvath’s team noted that this cavern also had a small dent in the wall, which they believe to be the entrance to an underground cave.
They added that these structures were created during the Moon’s formation billions of years ago and could be the perfect spots for future lunar colonists to build permanent homes on the celestial body.
Earth’s satellite has no atmosphere, lacks defenses against dangerous cosmic radiation and is occasionally bombarded by small meteorites.
Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein had a point when he titled his book, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”