The Moon may be home to many bizarre things says a new discovery by NASA of caverns hundreds of feet deep beneath its surface.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sent back images of the unusual caves to NASA bases, where scientists are puzzling over what may potentially be “down the rabbit hole”.
“They could be entrances to a geologic wonderland,” said Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, one of the key figures in charge of the LRO. “We believe the giant holes are skylights that formed when the ceilings of underground lava tubes collapsed.”
Scientists theorised that the moon may have an underground network as far back as the 1960s, but now the LRO has given them some proof, with high-quality images of the entrances to the caverns and surrounding landscape.
The caverns are believed to be “skylights” for lava tubes from billions of years ago. These tubes are formed when a volcana erupts and then begins to cool, with the channels for the lava remaining behind as caverns. Such lava tubes can be found on Earth, with some creating labyrinthine tunnels that go on for miles.
The next step for NASA is to investigate the caverns, which it believes could provide shelter for humans when we go join the Clangers on the Moon.
“The tunnels offer a perfect radiation shield and a very benign thermal environment,” said Robinson.