"If an asteroid hits the moon, it will just get another crater," says Gareth Wynn-Williams, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii. It would take a moon-size object to move the moon, says Clark Chapman, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, and most likely the moon wouldn't survive. Hitting it with a much larger, denser object would be like whacking an egg with a golf club.
Robert Heinlein got it right when he dubbed Earth's moon a harsh mistress. NASA's lunar orbiter examined some craters near the lunar south pole that never see sunlight, and may actually represent the coldest places in the solar system -- not to mention reservoirs of precious water ice.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has conducted an ongoing survey of temperatures on the moon's surface through its Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment. The temperatures in the craters can dip as low as -397 degrees F, the lowest temperatures recorded anywhere in the solar system.
Using the highest-resolution mapping data of the moon's south pole ever obtained, NASA has created an animation that shows what it would look like to descend to the rim of the Shackleton Crater—which has been proposed as a landing site for a future human mission.