Scientists report finding a lunar hole that might make a good candidate for a moon colony.
- Scientists find deep hole on moon that could be suitable for colony
- Discovery of "lava tube" is published in journal of American Geophysical Union
- Lava tubes have been found before, but this one is protected by "lava sheet"
- Report says that shield protects hole from meteorites and harsh temperatures
(CNN) -- Building a home near a moon crater or a lunar sea may sound nice, but moon colonists might have a much better chance of survival if they just lived in a hole.
That's the message sent by an international team of scientists who say they've discovered a protected lunar "lava tube" -- a deep, giant hole -- that might be well suited for a moon colony or a lunar base.
The vertical hole, in the volcanic Marius Hills region on the moon's near side, is 213 feet wide and is estimated to be more than 260 feet deep, according to findings published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
More important, the scientists say, the hole is protected from the moon's harsh temperatures and meteorite strikes by a thin sheet of lava. That makes the tube a good candidate for further exploration or possible inhabitation, the article says.