It’s “sweater weather” on the moon in some locations, scientists discover

Space scientists have determined that there are areas on the moon where lunar pits and caves keep a steady temperature in the 60s Fahrenheit, making them perfectly hospitable for humans.

The pits, and caves to which they may lead, would make safer, more thermally stable base camps for lunar exploration and long-term habitation than the rest of the moon’s surface, which heats up to 260 degrees during the day and drops to 280 degrees below zero at night.

Pits were first discovered on the moon in 2009, and since then, scientists have wondered if they led to caves that could be explored or used as shelters. About 16 of the more than 200 pits are probably collapsed lava tubes, said Tyler Horvath, a UCLA doctoral student in planetary science, who led the new research[…]

Building bases in the shadowed parts of these pits allows scientists to focus on other challenges, like growing food, providing oxygen for astronauts, gathering resources for experiments and expanding the base. The pits or caves would also offer some protection from cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites.

“Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves we might return when we live on the moon,” said [UCLA professor of planetary science David] Paige, who leads the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment.

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