Los Angeles (UPI) Dec 16, 2009
It gets colder on the Earth's moon than any other place in the solar system a man-made spacecraft has measured, U.S. scientists say.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has measured temperatures in the always-shadowed craters of the moon and found it gets as low as minus 416 degrees Fahrenheit, the BBC reported Wednesday.
"The moon has one of the most extreme thermal environments of any body in the solar system," Professor David Paige of the University of California-Los Angeles told the British broadcaster.
"During the middle of the day, temperatures can get up to about 400K (261 degrees Fahrenheit) at the equator; and at the poles at night, they can get very cold."
The coldest spot, he said, was on the southwestern edge of the floor of the moon's Hermite Crater.
Paige passed along his findings at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, the biggest annual gathering of Earth scientists.
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