Lava tubes found under the surface of the Moon and Mars could be up to 1,000 times wider in comparison to the one founds on Earth. Astronauts could harness them to create secure shelters and conduct underground exploration missions that could provide valuable data.
These tubes form when lava flows from a volcanic vent found under a hardened surface. In the case of Earth, such tubes can be found in Hawaii, Iceland, and Australia. Some of the widest ones can reach up to 98 feet.
According to current estimations, lava tubes were found on Mars, and the Moon could have a length of more than 25 miles. The size was estimated by combining data from a series of measurements made with the help of satellites, radars, spacecraft, and the observation of skylights found on the two objects.
In comparison to the lava tubes found on Earth, the ones located on the Moon could have a diameter of more than 3280 feet or approximately one kilometer, which means that even some of the biggest constructions made by man could fit inside them.
Most lava tubes found on the Moon should be intact, with exceptions of one that were affected by asteroid impacts. Skylights could be used as an easy and convenient way to access the tubes. Some scientists argue that underground bases could be established in the tubes, offering better conditions in comparison to the ones found on the surface.
One of the major risks that could hinder research on the surface is represented by micrometeorites, which can harm astronauts and the sensitive equipment that is essential for research. The tubes could also provide access to valuable water ice reservoirs that could e used for a variety of purposes.
More information about the tubes and their utility could be shared in the future.