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Theoretical study suggests huge lava tubes could exist on moon

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posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 01:28 PM
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Lava tubes large enough to house cities could be structurally stable on the moon, according to a theoretical study presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on March 17. The volcanic features are an important target for future human space exploration because they could provide shelter from cosmic radiation, meteorite impacts and temperature extremes.

Theoretical study suggests huge lava tubes could exist on moon


I came across this article and thought it may be of some interest. These "Lava Tubes" would certainly offer shelter from solar radiation and even meteorite impact regrading any future colonization of our Moon should they turn out to actually exist and be stable by nature.

What do you think fellow members, could these Lava Tubes house a future Moon base?
edit on 7-4-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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Yes. And i've long thought it possible as an explanation for the apparent low density of the moon (and its "ringing" when struck).

But given the absence of caverns opening up on the surface (and its well evidenced history of heavy impact), it would have to be presumed that any large caverns are deep enough to make it ridiculous to even consider.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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They did have this theory from the early spacecraft pictures, and they confirmed this five or six years ago. The conference must be a general release on the findings, here's a NASA link with pictures if that helps,


science.nasa.gov...


July 12, 2010: A whole new world came to life for Alice when she followed the White Rabbit down the hole. There was a grinning cat, a Hookah-smoking caterpillar, a Mad Hatter, and much more. It makes you wonder... what's waiting down the rabbit-hole on the Moon?
Down the Lunar Rabbit-hole ,

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is beaming back images of caverns hundreds of feet deep -- beckoning scientists to follow.
"They could be entrances to a geologic wonderland," says Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, principal investigator for the LRO camera. "We believe the giant holes are skylights that formed when the ceilings of underground lava tubes collapsed."
Japan's Kaguya spacecraft first photographed the enormous caverns last year. Now the powerful Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC, the same camera that photographed Apollo landers and astronauts' tracks in the moondust) is giving us enticing high-resolution images of the caverns' entrances and their surroundings.
Back in the 1960s, before humans set foot on the Moon, researchers proposed the existence of a network of tunnels, relics of molten lava rivers, beneath the lunar surface. They based their theory on early orbital photographs that revealed hundreds of long, narrow channels called rilles winding across the vast lunar plains, or maria. Scientists believed these rilles to be surface evidence of below-ground tunnels through which lava flowed billions of years ago.
"It's exciting that we've now confirmed this idea," says Robinson. "The Kaguya and LROC photos prove that these caverns are skylights to lava tubes, so we know such tunnels can exist intact at least in small segments after several billion years."



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan




Yes. And i've long thought it possible as an explanation for the apparent low density of the moon (and its "ringing" when struck).


Why is the moon considered low density?

I found this pretty easy.


The moon's density is 3.34 grams per cubic centimeter (3.34 g/cm3). That is about 60 percent of Earth's density. The moon is the second densest moon in the solar system; Saturn's moon Io is denser, with 3.53 g/cm3.

Source


There are 166 moons in our solar system. The earths moon is the second densest.

How many moons are there?
V



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: Variable

the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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With the technology employed by the U.S. government to build deep underground military bases, why would they need to rely on preexisting lava tubes?

I'm sure, with enough money, NASA could figure out how to get the proper tunneling equipment to the moon.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan




the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


Why is that reasonable? What if it was made from the lighter parts of the earth? Like the crust. Seems like a big assumption. So your saying something came along and bashed into the the earth and it should have taken an exact cross section of the earth and from that the moon would have been made. That seems unlikely. Wouldn't the denser bits tend to stay together and the lighter bits tend to fly off? I will have to read more about it.

V



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: Answer

I imagine it still presents us somewhat of a problem as to getting drilling devices or Subterrene's on to the Moon.



As you can see they are rather big by there very nature and enormously heavy pieces of machinery.

edit on 7-4-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: Answer

I imagine it still presents us somewhat of a problem as to getting drilling devices or Subterrene's on to the Moon.



As you can see they are rather big by nature and enormously heavy pieces of machinery.


Yeah, I know they're huge pieces of equipment.

Send it up in parts and pieces to be assembled by robots/crew later. Obviously, handling and assembling the heavier components in a reduced-gravity environment would be much simpler than assembling it on Earth and finding a propulsion system powerful enough to get it into space.
edit on 4/7/2015 by Answer because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: Answer

Somehow i suspect it may prove far easier and certainly a lot more cost effective to attempt to find some kind of natural entryway or cavern system leading to these "lava tubes" than drilling our way there. Interesting to see what they find inside, if anything, when they did get there.

edit on 7-4-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 03:49 PM
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originally posted by: Variable
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan




the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


Why is that reasonable? What if it was made from the lighter parts of the earth? Like the crust. Seems like a big assumption. So your saying something came along and bashed into the the earth and it should have taken an exact cross section of the earth and from that the moon would have been made. That seems unlikely. Wouldn't the denser bits tend to stay together and the lighter bits tend to fly off? I will have to read more about it.

V


Being busy at work, i can't spend time finding a link to a .gif of the assumed event that created the moon. But there are animations out there aplenty.

Science makes big assumptions. Im not the one making this up...im an accountant, not a scientist. Im just regurgitating my understanding based on a couple of decades of following this stuff.
So my "reasonable" dove tails with what is considered "reasonable". The fact is: we just don't know for sure.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

You can add lava tube caves on Mars to the discussion -


TEDTalk - Penelope Boston: Life on Mars? Let's look in the caves




posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Variable

the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


The moon is pretty dense. As said, it is the second densest Moon in the solar system.

It is thought the extended vibrations on the moon when compared to similar vibrations on Earth (what they meant when they said it "rang like a bell") is from the Moon if thought to be more rigid, solid and monolithic that Earth. That's due to the water infiltration and weathering on Earth over billions of years that cause the Earth to be cracked, craggy, and spongy . That erosion from water infiltration and weathering doesn't occur on the Moon, so it is less cracked.

So the Earth is like a cracked bell or a broken tuning fork; earthquakes and other vibrations dampen quickly. The moon is like a non-broken tuning fork or a non-cracked bell; moonquakes and other vibration take a long time to dampen.

Additional information:
Moonquakes

Excerpt:

On Earth, vibrations from quakes usually die away in only half a minute. The reason has to do with chemical weathering, Neal explains: "Water weakens stone, expanding the structure of different minerals. When energy propagates across such a compressible structure, it acts like a foam sponge--it deadens the vibrations." Even the biggest earthquakes stop shaking in less than 2 minutes.

The moon, however, is dry, cool and mostly rigid, like a chunk of stone or iron. So moonquakes set it vibrating like a tuning fork. Even if a moonquake isn't intense, "it just keeps going and going," Neal says. And for a lunar habitat, that persistence could be more significant than a moonquake's magnitude.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 05:59 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: Answer

Somehow i suspect it may prove far easier and certainly a lot more cost effective to attempt to find some kind of natural entryway or cavern system leading to these "lava tubes" than drilling our way there. Interesting to see what they find inside, if anything, when they did get there.


Of course. I was offering a Plan B if the tubes aren't feasible.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Variable

the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


Not necessarily, new research it is made from the same things as Earth, but not actually from Earth

www.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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originally posted by: onebigmonkey

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Variable

the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


Not necessarily, new research it is made from the same things as Earth, but not actually from Earth

www.bbc.co.uk...


When I consider the giant impact hypothesis, my logic (which might be wrong) tells me a few things:

1. The body (the hypothetical proto-planet "Theia") that collided with the proto-Earth was probably made up of much of the same stuff that Earth was made from, considering that they probably both formed in generally the same part of the proto-planetary disk, thus formed out of generally the same raw materials.

2. When the two bodies collided, I'm guessing that some of the material s from both bodies (both Theia and the proto-Earth were thrown out and would later coalesce back in. Depending on the angle of impact, It's possible that Theia could have contributed more than the Earth.

3. A more than just trivial amount of the material from Theia could have remained with Earth after the collision to become part of Earth.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:49 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Yes. And i've long thought it possible as an explanation for the apparent low density of the moon (and its "ringing" when struck).

But given the absence of caverns opening up on the surface (and its well evidenced history of heavy impact), it would have to be presumed that any large caverns are deep enough to make it ridiculous to even consider.


Not necessarily.

It could be that the caverns themselves are accessible but the openings to them are very small (and could be enlarged) or that they are just deep enough to allow for digging to access their roof.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: onebigmonkey

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Variable

the moon is made from Earth. one would reasonably expect the density to be fairly similar, being made from the same stuff.


Not necessarily, new research it is made from the same things as Earth, but not actually from Earth

www.bbc.co.uk...


When I consider the giant impact hypothesis, my logic (which might be wrong) tells me a few things:

1. The body (the hypothetical proto-planet "Theia") that collided with the proto-Earth was probably made up of much of the same stuff that Earth was made from, considering that they probably both formed in generally the same part of the proto-planetary disk, thus formed out of generally the same raw materials.

2. When the two bodies collided, I'm guessing that some of the material s from both bodies (both Theia and the proto-Earth were thrown out and would later coalesce back in. Depending on the angle of impact, It's possible that Theia could have contributed more than the Earth.

3. A more than just trivial amount of the material from Theia could have remained with Earth after the collision to become part of Earth.



That's actually in line with current thinking and for some time after the impact the Earth may have had a ring of material.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:52 PM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: Answer

I imagine it still presents us somewhat of a problem as to getting drilling devices or Subterrene's on to the Moon.



As you can see they are rather big by there very nature and enormously heavy pieces of machinery.


Not if you build them there. Hello 3D printing.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:58 AM
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originally posted by: JadeStar

originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: Answer

I imagine it still presents us somewhat of a problem as to getting drilling devices or Subterrene's on to the Moon.



As you can see they are rather big by there very nature and enormously heavy pieces of machinery.


Not if you build them there. Hello 3D printing.


To print a 10 tonne machine you need 10 tonnes of material. Even if that material can be had locally it still needs to be mined and processed. 3D printing is OK eventually, but you need everything else in place first.




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