It’s cold, dark, and might hold the key to life on new worlds.
It’s cold on the Moon’s South Pole.
There are some regions that the Sun never touches — namely the bottoms of cavernous craters.
But it’s what’s inside those frigid craters that matters: they might be storehouses for frozen water.
In the meantime, researchers are analyzing the best places for future missions to set up shop.
A new NASA study, published September 1 in the journal Planetary and Space Science, details four ideal landing spots on the South Pole to hunt for resources.
The study was released alongside a stunning visualization of the Moon’s South Pole, comprised of images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The sun never rises more than 1.5 degrees above the horizon on the Moon’s poles, which causes long, dark shadows to cross their surface year-round.
Only time will tell if there’s water — or something else — lurking in the darkness.