Tech & Science : Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds

01:10  14 may  2019
01:10  14 may  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

New study suggests the Moon may be shrinking

New study suggests the Moon may be shrinking Earth isn't the only place that "quakes." Rocky planets and moons regularly experience similar movements, and faults can form between massive chunks of crust on other worlds the same as they can here on Earth.Related 

Moonquakes recorded during the Apollo missions have been linked to specific cracks on the lunar surface, suggesting that the moon is still tectonically active today. The Apollo sensors measured 28 shallow moonquakes , with some reaching magnitude 5.5, which on Earth is enough to

Seismic data from NASA’s Apollo program appears to show the moon is still tectonically active . The team also found that six of these moonquakes took place when the moon was at its farthest point from Earth. We learned a lot from the Apollo missions , but they really only scratched the surface.

Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds© Supplied: NASA/ GSFC/ Arizona State University/ Smithsonian The fault scarp or cliff forms when the crust breaks and is thrust upward along a fault as the Moon contracts. Rumblings under the lunar surface captured by Apollo-era equipment may be a sign that the Moon is still tectonically active, researchers say.

The Moon was previously thought to be fairly geologically quiet, but a study published today in Nature Geoscience found moonquakes in the 1960s and 70s occurred near fault scarps, or small cliffs created by movement between fractured parts of the Moon's surface.

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.

New analysis of ‘moonquakes’ indicates the moon isn’t dead

New analysis of ‘moonquakes’ indicates the moon isn’t dead We tend to think of the moon as the archetypal “dead” world. Not only is there no life, almost all its volcanic activity died out billions of years ago. Even the youngest lunar lava is old enough to have become scarred by numerous impact craters that have been collected over the aeons as cosmic debris crashed into the ground. Hints that the moon is not quite geologically dead though have been around since the Apollo era, 50 years ago. Apollo missions 12, 14, 15 and 16 left working “moonquake detectors” (seismometers) on the lunar surface.

A new study suggests the moon may have been active much more recently than previously thought. Moonquakes and lunar tectonic activity offer insights into the moon 's history " The moon may not only have been tectonically active recently, but may still be tectonically active today," Watters said.

Moonquakes detected by seismic sensors installed during the Apollo missions support the notion of recent activity on the moon , researchers added. " The moon may not only have been tectonically active recently, but may still be tectonically active today," Watters said. Models of how the moon

"It means the Moon has somehow managed to remain tectonically active over its 4.6 billion years," Dr Watters said.

The fault scarps are "young" in that they are less than 50 million years old.

"The primary force creating what we now know is thousands of young fault scarps is cooling of a still-hot lunar interior," he said.

"This cooling results in global contraction of the Moon.

"We have to figure out how small rocky bodies like the Moon can retain their interior heat over billions of years."

Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds© Supplied: Arizona State University/ Smithsonian Cliffs called lobate scarps form when the crust is pushed together as the Moon contracts. This causes materials near the surface to break, forming a thrust fault.

The shallow moonquakes were detected by four seismometers from the Apollo program between 1969 and 1977 near the landing sites of Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16. But researchers had not been able to accurately place the sources of the tremors.

NASA said the moon is shrinking like a raisin, and experiencing 'moonquakes' that are cracking its brittle surface

NASA said the moon is shrinking like a raisin, and experiencing 'moonquakes' that are cracking its brittle surface The moon's interior is cooling down, which has made it get about 150 feet "skinnier" over the last several hundred million years, NASA said on Monday. The agency said this was causing the moon to develop "wrinkles," and likened the moon's shrinkage to a grape shriveling into a raisin. Scientists also say this is causing the moon's surface to break, and producing "moonquakes." The agency also announced $US1.6 billion in extra funding to send the next man and first woman to the moon by 2024. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Earth's moon seems seismically quiet -- its major volcanic and tectonic activity is confined to its distant past. More significantly for the Moon 's history, they propose it may not have been fully molten when it Measurement of shallow moonquakes by instruments used during the Apollo missions is also

Seismometers placed on the moon during the Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 missions revealed the moon experiences deep moonquakes about 800 to 1,200 Using this technique, researchers analyzed 131 moonquakes occurring from 1969-1977 from the three most active moonquake sites and confirmed

Applying a relatively new algorithm designed for problems like this allowed Dr Watters and his team to locate the epicentres more accurately.

The research builds on findings made in 2010 by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which discovered landforms that indicated the Moon was shrinking as its interior cooled — a little like the wrinkles that form as a grape shrinks to become a raisin.

The cliffs that form are called thrust faults. Slip events on these fault trigger shallow moonquakes that can cause strong shaking many tens of kilometres away.

The timing of the moonquakes was also important: many of the quakes occurred when the Moon was at or near its apogee — the furthest point in its orbit from Earth — when the tidal stresses on the rocky orb are at their highest.

Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds© NASA/ABC Moonquakes were detected near the landing sites of Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16.

By layering the seismic data over the LRO's map of thrust faults, the researchers found the quakes were likely the result of activity in the Moon's crust, rather than tremors caused by external forces such as asteroid impacts, or deep interior rumblings.

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NASA’s initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sister Oh my goddess

During these last months of the mission , the spacecraft's altitude was They are comparable in size to very young fault scarps identified on the lunar surface attributed to shrinking of the Moon ." "The young age of the small scarps means that Mercury joins Earth as a tectonically active planet in our

" The moon is seismically active ," he told a gathering of scientists at NASA's Lunar Exploration So moonquakes set it vibrating like a tuning fork. Even if a moonquake isn't intense, "it just keeps going and Other planets may be shaking, too: " The moon is a technology test bed for establishing such

Of the 28 moonquakes measured, the team found at least eight were caused by true tectonic activity, with an equivalent earthquake magnitude of about 2 to 5.

The moon is not so "dull" after all

The Moon, "in its own little quiet way", is much more interesting, geologically, than we previously thought said Craig O'Neill, a planet tectonics expert from Macquarie University.

"We've always assumed that a lot of the little bodies were very dull, very small, maybe a volcano back in the distant past but that's about it," said Dr O'Neill, who was not involved in the study.

"[In what] should be the death throes of this cold little world, it's still able to generate a little bit of geological activity, something that's interesting."

The study also demonstrates the value of holding onto and re-analysing old data, said Jonti Horner, an astrophysicist from University of Southern Queensland.

"The work that they've done simply wasn't possible when the Apollo landings happened because we didn't have such high-resolution images of the moon, Professor Horner said.

"But equally, the work we've got here with the high-resolution maps wouldn't be possible without that seismic data from the moon landings."

Here's What You Need to Know About Tonight's Blue Flower Moon.
Including the gear to help you catch the best views. Tomorrow night you'll be able to see a rare Blue Flower Moon. The Moon will be at its fullest on Saturday evening, but will appear full tonight and Sunday evening, too. Here's what you should know. What is a Blue Moon? A blue moon-incorrectly believed to be the second full moon of a given month-tends to look like your standard full moon and can, under specific atmospheric conditions, give off a slightly blue tint. Just don't take the name to heart, because a blue moon is never truly blue in color.

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