July 29, 2022
The moon's one spot of perfect temperature
The moon has no atmosphere to speak of, and no protection from a constant stream of radiation, whether from the sun or deep space. During a lunar day – about as long as 15 of our own – nonstop sunlight makes the surface hot enough to boil water. A lunar night lasts just as long, only it's unfathomably cold. Yet, at least one spot on the Moon offers the potential to be hospitable: a cavern, a portion of it anyway, that has a pleasantly cool temperature of 63°F. If the temperature alone wasn't a draw, the perspective should be. "The lunar surface is covered in regolith, which is just broken-up rocks from the eons of impacts that have hit the moon," said Amanda Stadermann, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona who studies lunar rocks. "The idea of rappelling down the side of one of these pits, it's very exciting," she added.