FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
July 18, 2014

The moon's surface is home to a surprising number of "lunar pits" — and those pits may one day be home to astronauts.

NASA released a statement Thursday that the moon has as many as 200 lunar pits, and it hopes those pits will be able to shelter astronauts.

Since the pits aren't formed by asteroid or meteor impact, they're not technically craters, Vice explains. The pits are likely formed from parts of the moon collapsing over caves, widening underground to form larger, underground caves. The original caves, NASA says, were likely formed by ancient lava streams hollowing out the moon's underground channels.

"Pits would be useful in a support role for human activity on the lunar surface," Robert Wagner, an Arizona State University researcher and one of the scientists who discovered the moon's holes, said in a statement. "A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings."

The pits, discovered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, range in diameter from five meters to more than 900 meters. According to Wagner, the next step is to lower probes into the pits, since pits "cannot be explored very well from orbit." Once scientists have a better sense of what's inside the pits, they can take the next step toward setting up underground lunar bases.

Check out more about the lunar pits in NASA's video below. --Meghan DeMaria

2:19 p.m. ET

Larry David and Bernie Sanders appeared alongside each other on Saturday Night Live, but the real highlight of the night didn't involve Sanders at all. In this pre-taped sketch, watch David play a cranky, neurotic Sanders in the cleverly titled "Bern Your Enthusiasm." Julie Kliegman

1:48 p.m. ET
iStock/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea on Sunday for defying international warnings in launching a long-range rocket that many believe is a cover for a test of a ballistic missile that could reach the United States mainland.

All 15 Security Council members approved a statement at an emergency meeting emphasizing that using ballistic missile technology violates four resolutions, The Associated Press reports. The group also vowed to adopt a new resolution soon with "significant" sanctions for North Korea. Julie Kliegman

1:18 p.m. ET
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

In a Monmouth University poll released Sunday, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with 30 percent of the support from likely New Hampshire primary voters. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are tied for 13 percent, with Ted Cruz notching 12 percent.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton, 52 percent to 42 percent.

The poll's margin of error is 4.4 percentage points. On Tuesday, New Hampshire will be the second state to vote in the primaries. Julie Kliegman

12:28 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders distanced himself Sunday from "Berniebros," a wide-ranging term that some have used to describe sexist supporters of the Vermont senator.

"It's disgusting," he said on CNN's State of the Union. "We don't want that crap. Anybody who is supporting me and doing sexist things, we don't want them. I don't want them. That's not what this campaign is about."

See more of Sanders' interview here. Julie Kliegman

11:45 a.m. ET

Saturday night's Republican presidential debate featured a lot of heated conflict — once all of the candidates finally made it out on stage. Watch The Washington Post break down just how delightfully awkward the whole introduction process was. Julie Kliegman

11:26 a.m. ET

At Saturday's Republican presidential debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio attacked President Obama. A lot. To be exact, Rubio attacked Obama four times with some version of, "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing."

His performance was widely mocked.

But Sunday on ABC's This Week, Rubio stood by his talking point.

"It's what I believe and it's what I'm going to continue to say, because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I am running," he said.

In other words, Rubio knows exactly what he's doing. Julie Kliegman

11:00 a.m. ET

Beyoncé released a new single and music video Saturday, marking her first major release since she surprise-dropped her self-titled album in 2013. "Formation," which heavily references Hurricane Katrina and the Black Lives Matter movement, centers on black pride.

Two filmmakers have called out Beyoncé, claiming she used footage from their documentary, That B.E.A.T., without permission, The New York Times reports.

Beyoncé's representative countered that the footage is properly licensed. Julie Kliegman

See More Speed Reads