Crater Erlanger: Where the Sun Don’t Shine on the Moon
Think about the coldest, darkest place in the Earth-Moon system and this might be it….
This week, Nasa released images of Crater Erlanger. Normally, a picture of a crater on the moon is a big snoozer, but this one could be special. Since this crater is located near the north pole of the moon and the moon’s axis is only tilted by 1.5 degrees, the sun’s rays never reach the bottom. This could be a big deal because some scientists are believe that there could be water trapped, frozen on the bottom. On most of the moon, the sun’s rays cause the surface to reach very high temperatures which would cause substances like water to instantly evaporate and escape into space. The permanently shadowed bottom of Crater Erlanger most likely maintains a temperature of -370 degrees Fahrenheit which is cold enough to prevent any volatile substances, like water, to sublimate.
If this proves to be true, it will make living on the moon a little easier – no need to import it from the Earth!