Moon Shrinking Like A Raisin, Creating Strong Quakes

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

Following its collision with the surface of the Moon, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed over the crash site and photographed the scene.

Over the last few hundred million years, the moon's belt line has slimmed by approximately 150 feet. If they had been on Earth, the quakes would have registered between a 2 and a 5 on the Moment Magnitude scale, according to the researchers.

The study appears in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Using the revised location estimates from their new algorithm, Dr. Schmerr and colleagues found that the epicenters of eight of the 28 shallow quakes were within 19 miles of faults visible in the LRO images. Those breaks in the surface produce thrust faults.

Bridenstine noted that Vice President Mike Pence is now challenging the USA space agency to expedite its Moon initiatives and put astronauts back on the lunar surface in the next five years.

Simulations determined the chance that coincidence could explain so many shallow quakes occurring near faults during periods of high stress was less than 4 percent.

A 2010 evaluation of images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) discovered that the moon shriveled like a raisin as its inside cooled, abandoning 1000's of cliffs known as thrust faults on the moon's floor. The measurement of these quakes proves that the Moon is shrinking and tectonically active as the results obtained from simulations run by scientists have reduced the chances of it being co incidence to less than four percent. Renee Weber, a planetary seismologist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center confirmed that more exploration into the surface of the moon is necessary, to learn how moonquakes can be hazardous. But because the moon's surface is brittle, not flexible like grape skin, it cracked and formed slip faults as it shrank.

Astronauts have described these fault marks as a step-shaped cliff. Since rocky worlds expand when they heat up and contract as they cool, Mercury's large faults reveal that is was likely hot enough to be completely molten after its formation.

NASA's original plan was to carry out the moon return mission in 2028, but Vice-President Mike Pence announced in March that the current administration wants to push those plans for 2024.

Researchers have long suspected the Moon might still be active. Although, without better data, she notes that the team has done as good of job as possible at pinpointing the location of the quakes detected on Apollo missions.

"We need a transfer module to get from the gateway down to lower lunar orbit". The LROC is managed at Arizona State University in Tempe.

"Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars", he tweeted.

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