The tube, in the Marius Hills on the moon's near side, is believed to be 213-feet wide and more than 260-feet deep, said Junichi Haruyama, a researcher with the Japanese space agency JAXA. The tube was discovered through images taken by the Japanese moon orbiter SELENE.
"Lunar lava tubes are a potentially important location for a future lunar base, whether for local exploration and development, or as an outpost to serve exploration beyond the Moon," Haruyama and his team wrote in a recent issue of the American Geophysical Union.
The moon contains other, already discovered tubes, but this one does not appear prone to collapse and it is insulated with a sheet of lava that protects the hole from extreme temperatures and meteorite strikes, CNN reported Saturday.
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