Huge Cave Found under Surface of Moon (News)

Science Technology

Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)—An international research team, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Wednesday that it has found a 50-kilometer-long cave under the surface of the moon through a study of observation data from JAXA's Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter launched in 2007.

The cave, located under an area called the Marius Hills, could be a candidate site for a future lunar exploration base because temperatures inside are stable and effects of radiation are limited, according to the team.

The team's finding was published in US science magazine Geophysical Research Letters.

Kaguya collected a massive volume of data by orbiting the moon for one and a half years from 2007. In 2009, it found a hole, which is about 50 meters in both diameter and depth, at the Marius Hills.

Members of the team, including Kaku Tetsuya, a graduate student of Tōkai University, and Haruyama Jun'ichi, associate professor at JAXA, analyzed data collected by the explorer's Lunar Radar Sounder, and investigated the underground structure around the hole.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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