The Moon is shrinking and generating lunar quakes

The moon is shrinking like a grape — and that may be causing ‘moonquakes,’ NASA says | The Kansas City Star

As per an earth-shattering new study, seismic activity is causing the moon to shrink and wrinkle like a raisin.

He also explained that the moonquakes recorded aren't minor, they are "fairly strong, around five on the Richter scale".

These faults push one part of the lunar crust up and over the adjoining part, said University of Maryland geologist and study co-author Nicholas Schmerr.

Although the Apollo missions occurred decades ago, "the Apollo seismometers are the only ones deployed on the Moon", Watters said in an email to CTV News. Then the data from the '60s and '70s was laid on top of the 2010 data to create an algorithm to better understand where the quakes were coming from. Seismometers are instruments that measure the shaking produced by quakes, recording the arrival time and strength of various quake waves to get a location estimate, called an epicenter.

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A new paper in Nature Geoscience discusses these findings, which could collectively demonstrate that the Moon is not, in fact, a geologically dead world. "We learned a lot from the Apollo missions, but they really only scratched the surface".

The team, led by Thomas Watters from the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian Institution, looked at 28 moonquakes that had been recorded by Apollo seismometers.

Those "moonquakes" ranged from a magnitude to 2 to 5, according to NASA.

The space agency is now working on a new heavy-lift rocket, a "Lunar Gateway" outpost and lunar landers to deliver space cargo to the Moon by the late 2020s. They found it is less than 4 percent.

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The Moon is steadily shrinking, causing wrinkling on its surface and quakes, according to an analysis of imagery captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) published on Monday. It was launched on June 18, 2009.

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This is still a model-backed correlation (and others have analysed and re-analysed the Apollo moonquakes to try and find the source), and there's more work to do to truly confirm the source of the seismic activity. Such tracks would be erased relatively quickly, in terms of geologic time, by the constant rain of micrometeoroid impacts on the Moon. The valley was explored in 1972 by the Apollo 17 mission astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.

Similarly, tracks are apparent on slopes where boulders have been dislodged from perches on higher ground. "This provides some very promising low-hanging fruit for science on a future mission to the moon". But because the moon's surface is brittle, not flexible like grape skin, it cracked and formed slip faults as it shrank.

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The LRO images also revealed surface features that support the theory that the Moon continues to be active. She happens to be the goddess of the moon. But the lunar faults, like Earth's own fault lines, are similar in that occur where pieces of the surface sometimes rub against each other, causing quakes that can reverberate throughout the planet. Just five years from now, NASA will send one woman and one man back to the moon, landing on the lunar body's south pole.

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