How dangerous is it to touch the moon’s surface with bare hands?

Twelve people have walked on the moon since humans landed on the moon 50 years ago, but no one has ever touched the moon’s surface directly. Touching moon rocks in a spaceship or museum is one thing; it’s another to take off your gloves and expose yourself to a vacuum in space.

But removing a glove is not necessarily immediately fatal. The human skin is tough enough to cope with a brief vacuum exposure.

So is the moon’s surface hot or cold? It depends on where you stand. On Earth, rocks scorched by the sun may reach 77 degrees Celsius at their hottest points, but on the moon — where sunlight can last for weeks, never cloudy and no breeze takes away heat — it gets hotter.

How dangerous is it to touch the moon's surface?

Apollo 16 landed on the moon’s morning, when the sun was very low in the sky, but as the sun rose, the ground began to heat up. By the time the astronauts left, “the surface was over 93 degrees Celsius.” There are two weeks of darkness on one side of the night, which will be colder than the midwinter Antarctic.

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