Moonquakes are causing the moon to shrink over time


All these slow and bulky movements produce geological activity like volcanoes and earthquakes. This is despite a general scientific rule that smaller rocky bodies cool down more rapidly, Watters says.

Its solid iron core is surrounded by a viscous outer core, followed by a mostly-solid mantle, and a hard crust. The thrust faults that appear on the moon's surface resemble stair-shaped cliffs or scarps and are typically tens of yards high and a few miles long.

"It's really remarkable to see how data from almost 50 years ago and from the [orbiter] mission has been combined to advance our understanding of the Moon while suggesting where future missions intent on studying the Moon's interior processes should go". Sometimes, the surface rises to form a mini cliff called a "scarp". In December 2017, Mr Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, which called for NASA to send humans to the moon for the first time since 1972 for "long-term exploration and use" and missions to other planets. But there were also shallow quakes that came from within the crust, much like the quakes on Earth. Because of this activity, the inner part of the Moon is gradually losing heat when compared to the time when the moon came into existence almost four and a half billion years ago.

"Some of these quakes can be fairly strong, around five on the Richter Scale".

Among the technologies set to be boosted by the funding are sensors created to support autonomous entry on planetary surfaces, solar panels that deploy like venetian blinds, X-ray instrumentation used to analyze surface rocks and core samples on planets and asteroids, and a suite of technologies for managing autonomous aircraft. NASA scientists compared the data they collected 2,000 photos taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) since 2009 and determined the moon is 164 feet "skinnier" than it was in the early 1970s. Twenty-eight deeper quakes, however, were unaccounted for. Impact craters, another common lunar feature, can help geologists better date these "wrinkle ridges" and their importance in the moon's cooling and shrinking activity.

But they ran in a fixed pattern: Near the poles, they ran east to west, while near the equator, they ran north to south.

One of the big hurdles is determining exactly what system will be used to get to the moon.

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The tidal forces of the ocean waves on the earth also cause pressure on the satellite.

Additionally, six of the eight moonquakes recorded near the faults occurred when the Moon was at its farthest point from Earth in its orbit - its apogee.

The moon may be dynamic and tectonically active like Earth - not the inert world some scientists had believed it to be - based on a new analysis disclosed on Monday of quakes measured by seismometers in operation on the moon from 1969 and 1977. "The moon is a three-day journey home, so if something goes wrong, we know we can make it home".

"A low-priced return to the moon is feasible".

The moon is not the solar system's only object shrinking with age.

A new analysis of archival data from seismometers deployed during Apollo missions gives the first evidence that these thrust faults are still active and likely producing moonquakes today as the Moon continues to gradually cool and shrink. They are also known to loosen boulders.

"We found that a number of the quakes recorded in the Apollo data happened very close to the faults seen in the LRO imagery", said co-author Dr. Nicholas Schmerr, a geologist at the University of Maryland.