Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lava Tubes - Homes for Space Travelers?

Today we visited a lava tube in the Cima lava fields here in the Mojave Desert. A lava tube is special geologic feature associated with volcanoes. Scientists believe that there are some lava tubes on the moon and on Mars. Scientists also believe that astronauts might want to live in lava tubes if we can find them.

Many of the scientists at Zzyzx this week are trying to answer questions about lava tubes. I spent this afternoon in one and got to learn from some of the leading scientists on this issue. We discussed issues such as finding microorganisms in lava tubes, thermal imaging to locate lava tubes, and robotic exploration of lava tubes. It was really fun to learn from the experts!

Check out this web site:

Answer these questions about lava tubes.

1. How is a lava tube formed?

2. Where are they found on Earth?

3. Are lava tubes likely to be on the moon?

4. Are lava tubes on the moon safe or are they likely to collapse? Why?

5. List three reasons why we might want to use lava tubes to live in on the moon.

6. How much space is probably in the lava tubes, if there are any, on the moon?

7. Where else in the solar system are we likely to discover lava tubes?

What other questions would you like to know about lava tubes? I know who to ask!


ClarkWheel said...

Good morning, Mr. Wray. Mr. Mohler's social studies class was wondering if lava tubes are hot inside? How hot are they? Have you seen any scorpions...?
Mr. Mohler's class

ClarkWheel said...

Good morning, Mr. Wray. Mr. Gunter's homeroom class was wondering how big a lava tube is and was it scary to be inside one? Have you ever been in one before?

Mr. G's class

margiepod said...

Good day, Mr. Wray. So happy that you and other NEAT teachers have this experience in the desert. My question is what is the most surprising thing you found in the desert or in the lava tubes?

Good luck to your students as they follow your adventures and say hello to your fellow teachers for me.

Ms. Corp - NEAT teacher from Illinois

ClarkWheel said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Wray. Mrs. Ryman's social studies class would like to know why NASA would want astronauts to live in lava tubes and how would they do it? What about the lack of atmosphere in the tube?

Mrs. Ryman's class