Sorry, Aspiring Moon Colonists--The Moon Will Kill You

Friday, 14 October 2016 - 2:51PM
Space
NASA
Moon
Friday, 14 October 2016 - 2:51PM
Sorry, Aspiring Moon Colonists--The Moon Will Kill You
We love the Moon almost as much as Duncan Jones' film about it (and the upcoming sequel). And with Elon Musks' recent plan to colonize the solar system, a lot of people are probably quietly saying to themselves "I'm not going to go and die on Mars. I'm going to the Moon, baby.Well, tough break: you're probably going to die on the Moon, too.

Recently, Arizona State University published the results of a new study, which used NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital Camera satellite to compare different photos of the Moon's surface. What they found revised everything we thought about the surface of the moon:

Opening quote
"The moon's surface is being "gardened" - churned by small impacts - more than 100 times faster than scientists previously thought. This means that surface features believed to be young are perhaps even younger than assumed. It also means that any structures placed on the moon as part of human expeditions will need better protection.
Closing quote


Since the time the mission began, over 222 new impact craters were discovered, ranging in size from "several meters" to almost 140 feet. The process of changing the entire face of the moon, something that researchers thought would take hundreds of millions of years, is now estimated to take only about 80,000 years. This is all because the moon is constantly being pelted with meteorites and debris, which cause impacts that produce (and we're quoting directly here) "hyper-velocity jets" of debris consisting of a combination of "vaporized and molten rock" at speeds of "16 kilometers (10 miles) per second." So if the meteorites don't get you, the geysers of molten rock shooting across the Moon's surface at roughly 10 times Mach 5 will.

So, potential Mooninites, keep that in mind when you're planning your own Lunar theme park (with hookers...and blackjack).




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