Moon's Shrinking May Be Causing Moonquakes

Share

Between 1969 and 1977, these instruments picked up all kinds of vibrations, most of which were linked to meteor strikes, tidal forces, and thermal changes.

Over the last several hundred million years the moon's interior has cooled, causing the surface to wrinkle as it shrinks.

Apollo 17 landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley (asterisk).

Similarly, tracks are apparent on slopes where boulders have been dislodged from perches on higher ground.

Earth's tectonic activity is driven by its hot interior.

The LRO images also revealed surface features that support the theory that the Moon continues to be active.

NASA previously aimed to return crewed spacecraft to the lunar surface by the year 2028, after first putting a "Gateway" station into orbit around the moon by 2024. And it is going to take far more than $1.6 billion to develop and/or manufacture everything needed for the mission. This is where additional tidal stress from Earth's gravity causes a peak in the total stress on the moon's crust, making slippage along the thrust faults more likely. Eventually, it breaks, forming thrust faults.

More news: Liverpool vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - Football Match Report
More news: Germany’s Daimler to cut ‘thousands’ of jobs over 3 years
More news: Leclerc: "Seb shouldn't have gone left"

The cliffs that form are called thrust faults.

Over time, the lunar surface darkens due to weathering and radiation, so bright spots are areas where recent activity has exposed areas on the lunar surface.

The team discovered that of the 28 detected shallow quakes, eight are close to (within 30km of) fault scarps, suggesting these faults may indeed be active.

This is more than a coincidence - the quakes were likely caused by slipping at these fracture points, said the study's lead author Tom Watters of the Smithsonian Institution. "It's not like you are going to walk over one of them and not notice it, there's tens of meters of leap". She happens to be the goddess of the moon. All of these conditions may have added up to a small indent on the surface.

"A lot of people understand that the Moon creates tides on Earth", Watters explains, "but they don't realize that Earth is doing the same thing to the Moon, only here it is the solid body that is flexing, rather than the ocean". From an analysis of the timing of these eight events, we found that six occurred when the Moon was less than 15,000km from the apogee distance. If they were very old, from a much earlier period in the Moon's history, then they would have filled in over the years with debris from crater impacts and other surface disruptions. Also, they weren't as precise as modern seismometers. "That wasn't accurate enough to be able to pinpoint with confidence the location of the epicenter". For one, it is the first lander ever sent to the moon by Israel. "This provides some very promising low-hanging fruit for science on a future mission to the moon". "This is a good amount that gets us out of the gate in a very strong fashion, and sets us up for success in the future".

"I have a daughter, she's 11 years old, and I want her to see herself in the same position that our current, very diverse astronaut corps now sees itself, having the opportunity to go to the moon", Bridenstine said.

Share