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"As opposed to illiteracy, where you can't read, aliteracy means that you can but you just can't be bothered. They say aliteracy is on the rise these days."
- Peter Watts

Moon Valley Breathable Atmosphere  
  Atmosphere is retained in a deep valley on a moon or otherwise airless body.  

You're about to crash land on one of the moons of Jupiter. If only someone on your crew knew more about it...

"I understand it is an outpost planet, useless as a trading center, therein differing from Ganymede, Callisto and Europa, which are, of course, both trading and refueling centers. Io, I understand, turns one face to the primary, Jupiter, with the result that Io has been drawn into valley form on the side opposite Jupiter. In this valley, according to the tests of Murchinson and Snedley, sir — expedition in 2112, I believe — is a breathable atmosphere, ceasing at a height of live hundred feet and there becoming pure vacuo. . , ."

"Nice going, Betts," Brig murmured, tense eyes fixed on the flying moon.

"Thank you, sir. There are other things. Io's gravity is a third of Earth's, and her solar revolution is forty-two hours or thereabouts. . . . Forgive me, sir. My interest in the moons of Jove rather carries me away at times."

Technovelgy from Moon Heaven, by Dom Passante.
Published by Science Fiction in 1939
Additional resources -

This is an early example of this idea, but I'm still looking for one that's earlier... If you can't find a natural feature of this kind, you'll need to build a moon shelter like the one described in Brigands of the Moon, by Ray Cummings, published by Astounding Stories of Super Science in 1930.

Here's a nice quote from Redemption Cairn by Stanley G. Weinbaum, published in 1936 in Astounding Science Fiction:

We weren’t to stop at lo, but were landing directly on Europa, our destination, the third moon outward from the vast molten globe of Jupiter. In some ways Europa is the queerest little sphere in the Solar System, and for many years it was believed to be quite uninhabitable. It is, too, as far as seventy per cent of its surface goes, but the remaining area is a wild and weird region.

This is the mountainous hollow in the face toward Jupiter, for Europa, like the Moon, keeps one face always toward its primary. Here in this vast depression, all of the tiny world’s scanty atmosphere is collected, gathered like little lakes and puddles into the valleys between mountain ranges that often pierce through the low-lying air into the emptiness of space.

Often enough a single valley forms a microcosm sundered by nothingness from the rest of the planet, generating its own little rainstorms under pygmy cloud banks, inhabited by its indigenous life, untouched by, and unaware, of all else.

In the ephemeris, Europa is dismissed prosaically with a string of figures: diameter, 2099 M. — period, 3 Least of all is the ephemeris concerned with the queer forms that crawl now and then right up out of the air pools, to lie on the vacuum-bathed peaks exactly as strange fishes flopped their way out of the Earthly seas to bask on the sands at the close of the Devonian age.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Moon Heaven
  More Ideas and Technology by Dom Passante
  Tech news articles related to Moon Heaven
  Tech news articles related to works by Dom Passante

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