Evergreen trees are silhouetted on the mountain top as a supermoon rises over over the Dark Sky Community of  Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne, Colo., Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

The discovery of a huge cave just took us a step closer to colonizing the moon

5.5 sq km

Japan’s space agency found a cave in the moon. It is 50 km long and 100 m wide.

Published   |  Photo by AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
Evergreen trees are silhouetted on the mountain top as a supermoon rises over over the Dark Sky Community of  Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne, Colo., Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
5.5 sq km

The cave, almost as long as the Panama Canal and as wide as a football field, would have enough space to serve as a base for astronauts.

Evergreen trees are silhouetted on the mountain top as a supermoon rises over over the Dark Sky Community of  Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne, Colo., Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
5.5 sq km

Residents of the moon would probably need to live underground to find shelter from radiation, extreme temperatures, and meteorites.

Evergreen trees are silhouetted on the mountain top as a supermoon rises over over the Dark Sky Community of  Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne, Colo., Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
5.5 sq km

Scientists believe that the huge corridor, located beneath volcanic domes on the moon’s near side, was formed by lava billions of years ago.

Evergreen trees are silhouetted on the mountain top as a supermoon rises over over the Dark Sky Community of  Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne, Colo., Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
5.5 sq km

Japan and Russia have separate plans to send astronauts to the moon by 2030. China plans to do the same by the mid-2030s.

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