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I'll see you on the pocked side of the moon.
July 18, 2014 3:18 PM   Subscribe

NASA discovers hundreds of pits on the surface of the moon.
While the moon's surface is battered by millions of craters, it also has over 200 holes – steep-walled pits that in some cases might lead to caves that future astronauts could explore and use for shelter, according to new observations from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. (Previously.)

"Pits would be useful in a support role for human activity on the lunar surface," said Robert Wagner of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. "A habitat placed in a pit -- ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang -- would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings."

NASA video.
posted by Atom Eyes (23 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
No. No! That is where the great beings of Yith hide.
posted by vrakatar at 3:21 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


SWISS CHEESE
posted by The Whelk at 3:23 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


It's like no cheese I've ever tasted.
posted by aubilenon at 3:28 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Oooo, flight caverns....
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:30 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


In b4 monolith reference
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:33 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


It's like no cheese I've ever tasted.

Not even Wensleydale?
posted by yoink at 3:34 PM on July 18 [8 favorites]


Tintin and Captain Haddock already went in and checked out some of these caves, and found them to be full of ice.
posted by Flashman at 3:36 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


If the pits are in the exact outline shapes of specific humans, I suggest we stay away from the moon.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:37 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Could these holes in the moron been made by harpoons?
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


OMG JUST LIKE E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL THE VIDEO GAME.
posted by unknowncommand at 3:40 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I think they're morning glories.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:41 PM on July 18


Which moron?
posted by yoink at 3:42 PM on July 18


Nazi bases.
posted by Jimbob at 4:25 PM on July 18


Caves? Sounds like they'd be natural homes for the man-bat inhabitants of the Moon.
posted by graymouser at 4:31 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


But are there enough holes to fill the Albert Hall?
posted by happyroach at 4:42 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


The answer is both stranger and sadder than you'd think.
posted by hap_hazard at 5:01 PM on July 18


It's just where the cats hide.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:47 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


NASA discovers hundreds of pits on the surface of the moon.

When I saw this I immediately thought "Gotta be lava river tubes--wonder if they're in the maria". They are! The dark "maria" (MAR-ee-uh) on the moon's surface are an igneous (lava) rock called basalt. (The lighter areas are anorthosite, which is like granite.) When lava flows, the surface cools faster and lava can flow on underneath, creating a hollow tube. Later, the roof of the tube can collapse.

It's a fairly common feature in volcanic terrain. See Jordan Craters in southeast Oregon. Walking on the surface of one of these tubes produces booming sounds like walking on a drum, which is cool until you find yourself at the rim of a hole.
posted by neuron at 5:53 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Oh great the wind is Mariah and the Moon is Maria. Get a "Baby's Best Names!" book, universe.
posted by angerbot at 5:58 PM on July 18


Now I want a little comic where the moon realizes we are judging its overly large pores and gets all self-conscious.
posted by elizardbits at 6:20 PM on July 18


When I saw this I immediately thought "Gotta be lava river tubes--wonder if they're in the maria".

And lava rides have been proposed as locations for lunar bases for something like forty years or more. Of course the shelter lava tubes would provide is not nearly so important as the presence of water, so it's most likely that if we do get around to moon bases, they'll be in the polar craters.
posted by happyroach at 6:35 PM on July 18


It's like no cheese I've ever tasted.

The moon isn't like cheese, but lemon meringue
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:53 PM on July 18




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