NASA’s LRO Finds Lunar Pits Harbor Comfortable Temperatures

About 16 of the more than 200 holes are presumably collapsed lava tubes, said Tyler Horvath, a doctorate student in planetary science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface,” said LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Lava tubes, also found on Earth, form when molten lava flows beneath a field of cooled lava or a crust forms over a river of lava, producing a lengthy, hollow tunnel.

Knowing that they produce a stable temperature environment helps us imagine these unique lunar features and the idea of studying them.

Two of the most conspicuous pits have overhangs that plainly lead to caves or voids, and there is a strong indication that another’s overhang may also connect to a major cave.