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ESA's news En route to exploring lunar caves features the following paragraph:

The Moon's surface is covered by millions of craters, but it also hosts hundreds of very steep-walled holes known as pits. Like doorways to the underworld, photos of some pits clearly show a cavern beneath the Moon's surface, suggesting that they are 'skylights' into extensive lava tubes [...]

I am now wondering how those pits have been detected. Reading the Is seeing the apollo moon Landers via earth telescope that hard? it looks like that Earth-based telescopes could be ruled out, and observing Lunar pits most probably requires a lunar orbiter, correct? Is there a list of lunar pits (including their locations) available somewhere? Does it require exact laser or radar topographic measurements of the surface of the Moon, or is it possible by optical observations alone? Could radar-astronomy be used to find lunar pits?

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    $\begingroup$ Relevant publication: doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.002 $\endgroup$ – Jean-Marie Prival Feb 25 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ All lunar pits have been seen from photographs taken by lunar orbiting probes. The most obvious distinguishing feature between pits & impact craters is impact craters have a raised rim around them. Pits, resulting from a collapse of ground, into a lava tube, do not have raised rims, they appear as puncture holes in the lunar surface. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 25 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ [LUNAR PITS: SUBLUNAREAN VOIDS AND THE NATURE OF MARE EMPLACEMENT](ile:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Documents/2771.pdf), [Lunar PitsGateway to the Subsurface](file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Documents/32_RobinsonWagner_LunarPits.pdf), Lunar Pits Could Shelter Astronauts, Reveal Details of How 'Man in the Moon' Formed $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 25 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Not my field so I'm just making a comment: (a) Cannot be detected from Earth because they are too small, you must have an orbiter camera. (b) Other comments noted a list, though I don't know of any one that is actively maintained. (c) It only requires images with enough resolution to see the pits, you don't need laser nor radar. (d) Radar has a HUGE footprint for a given "pixel," so while I suspect radar could be used in theory, it is not useful in practice. $\endgroup$ – Stuart Robbins Mar 8 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Not quite an answer but lunar pits are holes that leads into the subsurface. Lava might have flown previously making it some form of lava tubes. Lunar craters are impact craters where meteors crashed into the moon and giving superficial holes. $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh May 19 at 4:26

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