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Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:48 pm

I think this happened in 2009, but this article makes it sound recent.

Cave in moon: Base station for astronauts?

By SiliconIndia, Thursday, 24 February 2011, 19:34 Hrs

New Delhi: Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization have discovered a giant underground chamber on the moon, which they feel could be used as a base by astronauts on future manned missions to moon.

An analysis by an instrument on Chandrayaan-1 revealed a 1.7-km long and 120-metre wide cave near the moon's equator that is in the Oceanus Procellarum area of the moon that could be a suitable 'base station' for future human missions.

Scientists of the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad said in a research paper published in the latest issue of Current Science that the cave provides "a safe environment from hazardous radiations, micro-meteoritic impacts, extreme temperatures and dust storms."

Scientists said identifying sites for permanent base for human settlements on the moon is important for further exploration.

"Lava tubes provide a natural environmental control with a nearly constant temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius, unlike that of the lunar surface showing extreme variation, maximum of 130 degrees Celsius to a minimum of minus 180 degrees Celsius in its diurnal (day-night) cycle," they said.

According to them, the lava tubes offer a dust-free environment and adapting them for human use requires minimal construction.

Source:
http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/ISRO_finds_cave_in_moon_can_be_used_as_base_station_for_astronauts-nid-79567.html

Looks like NASA missed this one! Wink

C



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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:18 am


Always interesting and unique items, C!

Are you aware of any odd artifacts from the area they are talking about? I have never heard of Oceanus Procellarum, but will take a look and see what might be out there.
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:25 pm

Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms)

Exerpts from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceanus_Procellarum

...vast lunar mare on the western edge of the near side of the Earth's Moon.

…the largest of the lunar maria, stretching more than 2,500 km (1,600 mi) across its north-south axis and covering roughly 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi) but is, nevertheless, still smaller than the surface area of the Mediterranean Sea on Earth.

Around its edges lie many minor bays and seas, including Mare Nubium and Mare Humorum to the south. To the northeast, Oceanus Procellarum is separated from Mare Imbrium by the Carpathian Mountains. On its north-west edge lies the 32 km wide Aristarchus ray crater, which is considered as the brightest feature on the Near side of the Moon. Also, the more-prominent ray-crater Copernicus lies within the eastern edge of the mare, distinctly with its bright ray materials sprawling over the darker material.

The robotic lunar probes Luna 9, Luna 13, Surveyor 1 and Surveyor 3 landed in Oceanus Procellarum. The manned Apollo 12 mission also landed in Oceanus Procellarum, with astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean onboard.

On the northern edge of Oceanus Procellarum lies Sinus Roris.

Also, Current Science is a subscriber-only education magazine and ezine.

I have been unable to find any additional information regarding the location of this cave that was discovered.

C
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:36 am



Wow, this is really challenging to find information about, my friend. *lol* This is repeat information, but different sources:


http://luna-ci.com/category/indian-space-research-organization/


http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-caves-of-copernicus-and-the-ocean-of-storms

Quote:

"This lava tube is big. The length of the uncollapsed section is estimated to be just over one mile, with an interior cross-section from 500 to 1200 feet across. The roof itself is estimated to be more than 200 feet thick, which not only makes it structurally sound, it provides ample protection from radiation for anyone inside the tube.

Other data shows the surface regions around the rille as being rich in titanium, while the bottom of the rille itself is rich in iron. Both ores will be useful to future colonists."





"... Another idea proposed is that the sheltered environment and consistently cold temperatures in the lava tubes may serve as a trap for water ice and other volatiles. "
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:31 pm

Thanks for the additional info, Jackie Very Happy

C
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I can see...

Post  rick1959 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:54 pm

the $$$ being envisioned in somebody's mind!

Pretty neat info from your videos on this! Good to see a geologist has been looking at these....

Wonder if anyone else had this idea we don't know.....:-)

Cheers, Rick
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:12 pm

Sheesh... shoulda looked at your links!!

The link to behindtheblack is totally an awesome link! Thank you very much for that, Jackie!!!!! Very Happy Very Happy

C
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:49 pm

You are very welcome! I will continue poking around as time allows and we'll see what else is out there... Cool

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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:59 am

For those interested, I've spotted the location of the lavatube cave on the LROC moon image, and found a NAC of part of it.

Here's the location:




There is only one NAC of this feature, covering the upper end of the SW rille, right where the cave would start and run to the NE rille:



C


Last edited by Copernicus on Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed error in image label)
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:51 pm


Here's a bit more information regarding the structure of the lunar cavities:

http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.com/2010/07/nasascience-down-lunar-rabbit-hole.html




"The 'skylight' in the middle of Mare Ingenni, on the Moon's Far Side, show a tantalizing view of house-sized boulders on part of it's barely illuminated floor in this LRO Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) observation, LROC News System Featured Image released June 16, 2010. Two kilometers wide, the Ingenni pit is twice the size of the skylight previously unveiled by JAXA SELENE-1 (Kaguya) investigators in 2009 - [M128020284LE, LRO orbit 4026, May 11, 2010 - NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University]."


Dauna Coulter
Science@NASA


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?

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.



Situated a bend at the northwestern reaches of the unofficially named sinuous rille 'A,' near the heart of the widespread Marius Hills volcanic region in Oceanus Procellarum, the "Haruyama" skylight (unofficially named, for the lead investigator of the JAXA SELENE-1 (Kaguya) science team who first identified it) is wide enough to swallow The White House in Washington, DC (LROC Narrow Angle Camera observation M114328462RE; LRO orbit 1982, December 1, 2009; Alt. 45.38 km, Resolution = 50cm per pixel) [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

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."



"Lava tubes are formed when the upper layer of lava flowing from a volcano starts to cool while the lava underneath continues to flow in tubular channels. The hardened lava above insulates the molten lava below, allowing it to retain its liquid warmth and continue flowing. Lava tubes are found on Earth and can vary from a simple tube to a complex labyrinth that extends for miles."

To see the full article, please click on the link:

http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.com/2010/07/nasascience-down-lunar-rabbit-hole.html



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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Thank you for your work Jackie Smile

I posted all 14 of the NAC's of the 3 discovered pits/caves at Magic, but no one seemed interested. I'll repost those here, though I seem to have lost the post for one of them and will re-create it when I get a chance.

C
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The Marius Hills Hole

Post  Copernicus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:55 pm

We’ll look at the “caves” that NASA’s discovered in LROC images of the Moon, and this post we’ll look at Cave #1, dubbed the Marius Hills Hole.

Here’s the browser image showing the NAC’s of the area, and then a couple of images for orientation:







Here’s the lowest res of the NAC’s of the pit, followed by a cap from the NASA pdf:





Notice the huge difference in contrast and brightness in the above 2 images!!

And then the last 3 NAC images, increasing in resolution:







They estimate that the Marius Hills Hole is 80-90 m (262-295 ft) deep!! Not a hole that you’d want to stumble into in the dark!!

C


Last edited by Copernicus on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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The Mare Ingenii Pit

Post  Copernicus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:58 pm

In this post we’ll have a quick look at the 2nd of NASA’s 3 caves (pits) on the Moon. This one is called the Mare Ingenii Pit, and was actually the easiest to find of the 3 in the NAC’s.

Here’s the location with an inset NAC showing the orientation to the basemap. You can actually see, though just barely, the pit on the inset NAC (small black arrow).



And a bit higher res orientation image…



The following 6 images of the pit are each from a different NAC…













And here’s the report that NASA produced on the pits…

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2011/pdf/2771.pdf

It’s too bad that these were all pits… I was hoping for some caves!!

C
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The Mare Tranquilitatis Pit

Post  Copernicus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:32 pm

And last but not least, the Mare Tranquilitatis Pit.

First, the NAC index for orientation…



Next, we see the pit in a medium-res image, a bit of a far view of it.



Then we have 2 different hi-res views of it.





And finally, the last NAC, not released to the public until Mar/11, which was after NASA published their report on the pits. This one’s a very oblique view, but still interesting.



So, these are the 3 official pits that NASA has discovered to date. I have not yet had a chance to see if the June NAC upload included more NAC’s of these 3 pits, but I’ll check it when I get a chance. Also, I’ve found a possible anomaly in one of the other NAC’s, which I intend to have a closer look at! Smile

Right now, I am beginning to look into the possible caves and possible pits in Copernicus that I found in a link leading from one of Jackie’s posted links, and I’ll post something on them in the future.

Interestingly, Copernicus was on the list of possible Apollo landing sites for future missions, but they never made it there when the rest of the missions were canceled! Sad

C

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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:39 am

*Bows to the master*

That is astounding work!!!

Perhaps your effots will help people viewing this information to understand the implications of such a find as these images suggest. Something to consider is the fact that these represent only what we know so far, based on NASA's released images...

One would think...Given the steady temp and protection from cosmic effects, these caves would have generated a serious investigation and a mission all to themselves...Well, perhaps there already has been such missions:

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_the_Moon

"Project Horizon: Project Horizon was a 1959 study regarding the U.S. Army's plan to establish a fort on the Moon by 1967.[8] Heinz-Hermann Koelle, a German rocket engineer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) led the Project Horizon study. The first landing would be carried out by two "soldier-astronauts" in 1965 and more construction workers would soon follow. Through numerous launches (61 Saturn I and 88 Saturn II), 245 tons of cargo would be transported to the outpost by 1966.

Lunex Project: Lunex Project, a US Air Force plan for a manned lunar landing prior to the Apollo Program in 1961 envisaged a 21-airman underground Air Force base on the Moon by 1968 at a total cost of $ 7.5 billion.

Lunar Ark: In 2007 Jim Burke of the International Space University in France said people should plan to preserve humanity's culture in the event of a civilization stopping asteroid impact with Earth. A Lunar ark was proposed.[9] Subsequent planning may be taken up by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)"

Copernicus, have you visited this website yet?

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/index.html#Enigmas

I'm just curious because there is a lot of information contained regarding secret lunar activity...I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on Jack Arneson or the lunar projects he describes on this site.




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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Copernicus on Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:29 pm

You’re doin’ a great job too, Jackie!! Very Happy

So… as for the “buildings”… I’ve read the info on thelivingmoon in the past, and I don't know anything more about Arneson. His research on moon base construction techniques seems good, though.

Now, in June a NAC was finally uploaded of the building locations in Kira… but there was no building in it. The image could have been edited, so this doesn’t really “prove” anything, but…

Here’s a suggestion for a Clementine expert… some hi-res infrared images of the crater Kira (just NE of Tsiolkovsky) would be very helpful!

The Clementine images on their site are way too dark for my monitor, so I’ve given up on browsing the site.

C
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:31 am

Clementine's photos have been un-viewable by me as well.

I appreciate your feedback, C - Though the answers are elusive, they are there somewhere and probably not as far away as they sometimes feel...I will continue looking into this as time allows today -

Best regards to all-
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NASA Possible Pit#1

Post  Copernicus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:16 pm

We’ve already looked at the 4 “official” pits that NASA has discovered, but today I’d like to finish up my cave posts with the first 2 of the “possible” pits that NASA has discovered on the moon. There are apparently 8 more “possibles”, but they haven’t released the info on the other 8 yet, unless H1 to H5 in Copernicus are actually part of this group.

The 2 “possibles” were mixed in with a post referencing some of the first 4 official caves, and here is the link to the article:

http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/archives/253-How-Common-are-Mare-Pit-Craters.html

The first of these 2 possible pits is a bit southeast of the crater Sabine, on the floor of Mare Tranquilitatis.

Locator images:





The small arrow in the inset points out the location of the pit. Unfortunately there is only one NAC of this pit...



I had a heck of a time finding this pit in the NAC IMG because of the poor contrast of the image and the small size of the “pit”… Anyway, from what I can see, this has gotta be the weakest possible that I’ve seen yet!

Next post will be the second of the 2 NASA possibles…

C
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NASA Possible Pit#2

Post  Copernicus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:19 pm

The second NASA “possible”, also in Mare Tranquilitatis, is northwest of the crater Maskelyne.

Locator images:





You can use the “3 craters” in the first image to locate yourself in the second image, where they are below the center of the image. The “double” crater in the second image will be used as a locator in the next post.

There are 2 NAC’s available of this pit, and although it wasn’t as hard to locate in the high res NAC as the previous pit, I had a heck of a time cross referencing it to the low res image. Here is my match-up…



You’ll note that the pit looks just like a small crater in the low res image. Here is the high res image of it:



Although this looks like a better “possible” pit than the first one, it may be nothing more than a deep crater.

And one last post… while searching for this pit, I found some”thing” else! (See next post)

C
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:22 pm

Oh my - Now I am awaiting this 'thing' you found! You have bridges and caves, I honestly have no clue what else it would be.

These pits and caves...Am I correct in thinking that they appear to a part of a rather extensive undreground area, or do you feel they are distinct features that are separate?

Also, in the second and third to the last images - Schmidt and Hypatia E both look like craters that have had their inner floor knocked out. Is there a way to tell by the location of the pit if they were struck or if they collapsed over time? These are inconsequential questions, I realize, but I am curious.

Also, this is the best I could find for a reasonable image of Kira...



Maybe you have already seen this one?

Best regards!
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Re: Chandrayaan-1 Discovers Large Lunar Cave

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Here is an alphabetical listing of images...of Lunar craters!

http://lpod.org/coppermine/index.php?cat=0

Maybe there will be some interesting finds here?
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Call This Cross509

Post  Copernicus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:47 pm

@Jackie

I'm not up on the geologic aspect of these pits and caves, but I'd say they are probably as represented by the experts: uncollapsed lava tubes and such. I know a lot of the caves that we see on Earth are made by water running through soft limestone.

Otherwise, I have a feeling that these lunar caves may be interconnected in some areas... and I also have a feeling that some of them go very deep... my opinion only.

Perhaps someone can lend a hand here? I know that I've heard an audio clip of some Apollo astronauts orbiting the moon, and they were talking about some heavy-duty looking black openings that they could see on the surface below them. The gist of the conversation was something along the lines of "I'm sure glad that we don't live in there", or some such. There may've been some "implications" of possible knowing something we don't in this conversation, and I'd like to find the clip so I can listen again.

Anyone know about it?

And now on with the post!

So, as mentioned, while searching for the previous pit, I stumbled upon some”thing” else! Now, I’m not sure what to make of this, but I’m labeling it the “Cross”.

This object is in the same high res NAC as the previous pit, and part of it is also in the low res NAC. Here is a locator image using the low res NAC:



The “double” crater can be used as a locator on the main locator image. Here is a locator to cross-reference the low res and high res NAC’s:



And here is the object at 33%



Though the object, the Cross, is obvious here, it is even more obvious when the image is flipped!

Next is the low res image showing only part of the Cross crater:



And here it is at full res:



So… what do you think? Is this light and shadow play making an optical illusion??

C
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