back to article Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

Japan's lunar orbiter has found a long, deep tunnel under the Moon's surface. The find is significant because Earth's Moon is a nasty place: surface temperatures vary wildly, there's radiation galore to contend with and Luna's lack of an atmosphere means the surface is subject to micrometeorite bombardments. Plans to colonise …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    The hole truth

    "JAXA says it's spotted lots of caves on the moon. "

    And El Reg mentions only an amusing fictional space slug in reference to them? I believe there's an entire cottage industry devoted to the belief in secret underground installations on the Moon. Won't they have something to say about this startling information? (in all-caps of course)

    1. CentralCoasty

      Re: The hole truth

      Well those WW2 bombers & other fliers had to be parked somewhere away from prying eyes....

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/583080/Plane-shaped-UFO-found-on-Moon-in-50-year-old-Soviet-lunar-mission-pictures

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: The hole truth

        It's Space 1999, just 18 years late.

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: The hole truth

      No, they are on the other side, See the Iron Sky (film),

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: The hole truth

      What first gave them the hint of long tunnels under the surface? Were they perhaps illegally harvesting Spice?

      1. Enric Martinez

        Re: The hole truth

        Kull wahad!

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: The hole truth

        Look into my blue, blue eyes.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    Clanger holes

    Much larger than I thought.

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      Re: Clanger holes And there I was about to ask if...........

      ............they had detected the soup dragon.

      1. sawatts

        Re: Clanger holes And there I was about to ask if...........

        So, what flavour was the Soup Dragon's Soup?

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Clanger holes And there I was about to ask if...........

          "So, what flavour was the Soup Dragon's Soup?"

          Clanger Shit, or on Tuesdays, Bin Lid Scrapings.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Clanger holes

      "Much larger than I thought."

      That also implies

      "Clangers... Much larger than I thought."

      Now, that's a scary thought.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bora! Bora! Bora!

    [sorry]

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Bora! Bora! Bora!

      So that's where all the VW's are going...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't Mr Spoon already have a base?

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      All your bases are bilong to us.

      1. ravenviz

        https://youtu.be/8fvTxv46ano

        1. Enric Martinez

          Classic!

    2. ravenviz

      Button Moon used to freak me out.

      And don't get me started on Pipkins.

  5. 45RPM Silver badge

    A long deep tunnel on the moon? Those would be the intestines, surely? Next they’ll be telling us about moons around uranus. Fnarr Farr.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The chances....

    of anything coming from the moon are a million to one, they said....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That picture

    I know what it is, but at first glance it looks like something rather different. My first thought was that it was a sculpted and tinted tribute to the dog's eggs of Paris, perhaps some memento that the local vendors offer to tourists to remind them of the long slippery, pongy walk up Champs de Chienpoo to admire the Arc du Merde.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: That picture

      I thought it was a chocolate cake that had been taken out of the oven too early, and deflated.

      It's not elongated enough for the doggie do.

      I remember walking in Boulogne and noticing they had little signs on the pavement with a picture of a pooing poodle, and an arrow pointing to the gutter. I don't think the dogs could read the signs, and the owner's didn't care.

      I remember the BBC Brussels correspondent complaining, when I lived there, about someone walking their mutt and just letting it poo on his doorstep. Not even bothering to apologise when he walked through his own front door. I loved living there, but you had to watch where you stepped in some places. And little old ladies would go round the supermarket with their tiny dogs in the shopping baskets with their food. The ones you were expected to use when they'd finished with them...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That picture

        It's not elongated enough for the doggie do.

        Surely that depends on the dog and the diet? I've seen some that looked as though they were the product of a woolly mammoth.

        Who here is old enough to remember white dog poo? There's sommat yer don't see these days. Kids o'today they derent knerr their born.......

      2. PNGuinn
        Devil

        Re: That picture

        "And little old ladies would go round the supermarket with their tiny dogs in the shopping baskets with their food. The ones you were expected to use when they'd finished with them..."

        That's much the same as social dependency scum parents standing their nasty little sprogs in the shopping trolley (sometimes complete with bike with goodness knows what on the tyres) here in the uk.

        Happens all over the country, all classes and races - the supermarkets don't give a flying turd about it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That picture

          the supermarkets don't give a flying turd about it.

          Why would they? Trolleys get left out in the car park and birds crap on them, about which they can do nothing, some food packets leak juices that have a very high chance of carrying pathogenic bacteria. And I suspect the dirtiest area of a shopping trolley is the handle. There have been a number of studies in the US and UK, both of which tend to indicate that discount store trolleys carry more bacteria and superstore or upmarket supermarket trolleys and baskets, I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that (in my experience, kids in trolleys is far more common in superstores than Aldi or Lidl). The re-use of shopping bags adds another compounding influence that tends to harbour bacteria and dirt, but that's not the store's responsibility.

          So when the trolleys get sh1tted up anyway, why would a supermarket pick an argument with somebody who is about to give them money? At one end of the spectrum the staff risk threats or actual violence from the sloping-forehead element of society, and at the other the customers will take offence and shop elsewhere.

          1. Enric Martinez

            Re: That picture

            You forget the dirtiest of it all: KIDS,

            shoes full of everything imaginable, diapers filled to the brim with shit and pee and the lil' b*st*rds are also a mayor source of Hepatitis A infections.

      3. ravenviz

        Re: That picture

        Oven? I thought the chocolate cakes came from Marks & Spencer!

      4. Enric Martinez
        WTF?

        Re: That picture

        "The ones you were expected to use when they'd finished with them..."

        Reusnig the dogs? Friggen Belgians. And they complain about us Dutch.

  8. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

    We cough up trillions, they go up there panel out the hole, maybe put a few sofas in.

    But what are they going to _do_ up there?

    1. Crisp Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

      Science!

      1. Kaltern

        Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

        Building Very Large Things is much, much easier when there's not much gravity, you know. And if they built a Space Station - that would be very useful for things like space dry docks.. building the first space-only ship would be a tremendous advantage when doing the whole Mars thing.

        If there are enough mineable materials on the Moon to help with the building, so much the better.

        And besides.. who wouldn't want to stay in a Moon Hotel for a few nights?

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

          @Kaltern - who wouldn't want to stay in a Moon Hotel for a few nights?

          Me. I'll watch on interestedly, but I'd rather stay on Earth. So please can we all try not to mess it up too much.

          1. Enric Martinez

            Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

            No too much to be messed up there, just rocks, regolith and dust... sorry, I meant _fines_

            ;)

        2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

          > "Building Very Large Things is much, much easier when..."

          Generally it's easier when you have air and people. So much would have to be shipped to the moon that you might as well build in orbit where you have even less gravity.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

            I could imagine pogo-dancing to some classic punk music would be a very different experience at lunar gravity

            1. Enric Martinez

              Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

              Like the Lunachicks ;)

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drffI6elzfc

          2. Thrudd

            Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

            Not really. Most metallurgy works much better when there is no oxygen to bolix things up.

            As for the people bit, how much of today's heavy industrial manufacturing is automated?

            Then there is the bonus of making clean/sterile areas very very easy.

            Wafer fabrication in low gravity and hard vacuum.

            Popping a few square kilometers of solar panels in orbit with microwave down-links is far more practical for power generation.

            I can also see building a lunar linear particle accelerator to refined bulk lunar materials into base elements.

            1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

              "As for the people bit, how much of today's heavy industrial manufacturing is automated?"

              I guess you don't actually *get* automation.

              You don't take a job and completely automate it. You automate parts of it, ideally the ones best done by a machine, and then still use humans for all the other parts.

              You should save a net amount of labour, and hopefully also do the automated part in a more consistant fashion than a meatsack.

              But there is no automation without some meatsackage :)

              My washing machine and dishwasher do a great deal of the manual labour associated with cleaning up things. But both require me to do a bunch of the stuff. Now, it's the easier parts, but it's not zero labour.

              Same for things breaking. There are self repairing systems, but they need a supply of spare/replacement parts. Most systems require some human based fine tuning.

          3. Enric Martinez

            Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

            Not necessarily because in the moon you could use the regolith as base material and extrude it in the form of concrete using 3D printing methods. All could be automated and only a few crew would be needed to watch the process.

            But of course, you could also do it in space and send the regolith from the moon using a mass accelerator.

        3. Enric Martinez

          Re: But what are they going to _do_ up there?

          A mass accelerator to hurl stuff towards good ol' earth or to space (anything from material to spaceships).

          And yes, I am also partial towards a weekend in Luna Hilton!!!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

      What do you do on the Moon? Low gravity rumpy-pumpy perhaps?

      1. Michael Maxwell

        Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

        Fly: https://www.baen.com/Chapters/0743498747/0743498747___2.htm

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

      But what are they going to _do_ up there?

      Survive the inevitable apocalypse, of course.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...(Obligitory)

        But what are they going to _do_ up there?

        Go swimming

        1. DJV Silver badge

          But what are they going to _do_ up there?

          This apparently:

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mother-Moon-Bob-Goddard/dp/0956351816

    4. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

      "But what are they going to _do_ up there?"

      Look down on us!

    5. Radio Wales
      Devil

      Re: Just supposing everyone goes through with it...

      What will they Do?

      About the only things they are able to do. namely, settle into one of their very comfortable sofas, break out the telescope, popcorn and coffee and study us, and swap moon jokes.

      They could check out our IoT, WiFi penetration. even slyly respond to the 'Anybody there?' transmissions from SETI, pretending to be somewhere in Aquarius or... Watch Netflix.

      What would anybody do there? There's the Times crossword for free, Corrie & EastEnders (ad infinitum) and more coffee. Oh, and a Uber ride booked for home already.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Go

    it's a 50*kilometre* tunnel.

    And it's under 10s of metres of rock.

    So a) Living room should not be a problem and b) Radiation protection should be more than adequate away from the entrance (which I'm guessing could be quite big as well).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course it's got holes in it, it's made out of cheese.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bivvy bag moonbase

    50 km long but how wide? POW camp wide?

    Get those boffins from the uranus team.They know everything.

  12. Brangdon

    Not near the poles

    Any lunar base will likely want to be located in a region near the poles that gets constant sunlight. Without that you have to cope with nights that are 14 (Earth) days long. That's a long time to go without solar power. You'd need vast amounts of batteries. (Or a nuclear reactor, but that probably won't happen for political reasons.) The weeks of darkness are followed by weeks of sunlight, leading to extremes of temperature that are a pain for engineering. Finding lava tubes, although good science, won't be useful to early lunar bases unless they are in a good location.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a 50-km long intact lava tube

    No no no, it's clearly an underground rail system. Probably a speculative build, like the metropolitan line in the old days. Build the line, then build houses to sell to commuters. 'Bovis Homes in the Marius Hills, on the shores of Oceanus Procellarum'. I'm already tempted, and that's without reading estate agent blurb. As long as there's a good primary school and a Waitrose.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: a 50-km long intact lava tube

      This is the bloody Moon. You'll have an Aldi, and like it!

      Just thank your lucky stars it's not a Kwik Save...

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: a 50-km long intact lava tube

      "No no no, it's clearly an underground rail system."

      Who do we know who owns a Boring company, has a fleet of spaceships and wants to build a Hyperloop?

    3. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: a 50-km long intact lava tube

      How long before people at one end of the tunnel declare war on people at the other end of the tunnel. Better make that two good primary schools. An Aldi at one end and a Kwik Save at the other should be enough to get hostilities underway.

  14. andy gibson

    The future of mankind, back to living in caves.

    I thought Trump Vs North Korea would have been the reason.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aside from the invidious comparison of one man against an entire country, the whole "cave man" idea is not an apt description of our ancestors. Mostly they lived in temporary huts and the like. However, the few who lived in caves get all the credit, due to preservation of artifacts and bones from weathering plus the creation of convenient archaeological deposits from cave collapses.

  15. tiggity Silver badge

    caves

    Net Al Queda are in there already, just waiting.

  16. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    I was going to go all Asimov on this, but the title is Caves of Steel. Although if you read it through from end to end, at some point R. Daneel ends up hiding in a cave on the moon waiting......

  17. Mr Humbug

    So they found the way in

    http://www.baen.com/empire-from-the-ashes.html

  18. Sam 15

    Shame there's no Atmosphere

    This would make a really spiffing didgeridoo.

  19. Bob Vistakin
    Holmes

    It changes things slightly

    For the last decade or so it looked like the first human to walk on the moon would be Chinese, now it's clearly a race between them and the Japanese.

    We live in interesting times as truths protective layers become uncovered, one by one.

  20. captain_solo

    "This is no cave" - Me

  21. AS1

    Big game hunting

    Space exploration's not going to happen unless there's a reason. So far nothing on the Moon or Mars has been tempting, Europa is still a possibility if the Forbes set can put a 30' Exos marius in the trophy cabinet.

  22. DaemonProcess

    Second Foundation

    R. Daneel Olivaw was his name and I finally got to him at the end of the Foundation series. One of my favourites. I wonder if Japan will do an Elon and send an Asimo to sit there.

  23. pkoning

    Too bad the original paper you referenced is, as happens all too often, restricted to rich university libraries and others who pay the outlandish fees demanded by academic journals.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019