Tech & Science : NASA said the moon is shrinking like a raisin, and experiencing 'moonquakes' that are cracking its brittle surface - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science NASA said the moon is shrinking like a raisin, and experiencing 'moonquakes' that are cracking its brittle surface

21:51  14 may  2019
21:51  14 may  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds

Moonquakes measured during Apollo missions suggest the Moon may still be tectonically active, study finds Rumblings under the lunar surface captured by Apollo-era equipment might be signs 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.

NASA said the moon is shrinking like a raisin, and experiencing 'moonquakes' that are cracking its brittle surface The surface of the moon from 342 miles (550 kilometers) away. Beresheet, the first private lunar spacecraft, took this photo from lunar orbit on April 8, 2019.
  • 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.

The moon's interior is gradually cooling down, causing it to slowly shrivel up like a raisin, and causing "moonquakes," NASA said this week.

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 

It has become about 150 feet "skinnier" over the last several hundred million years, causing it to develop "wrinkles," NASA said in a Monday post. The agency likened the shrinkage to a grape shrivelling into a raisin.

"Just as a grape wrinkles as it shrinks down to a raisin, the Moon gets wrinkles as it shrinks," NASA said.

"Unlike the flexible skin on a grape, the Moon's surface crust is brittle, so it breaks as the Moon shrinks, forming 'thrust faults' where one section of crust is pushed up over a neighbouring part," it added.

These faults are also "likely producing moonquakes" that can be as strong as a magnitude-5 quake on the Richter scale, NASA cited Thomas Watters, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, as saying.

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.

The pushed-up crusts typically measure tens of meters high and extend for a few miles, NASA said. The photo below shows the Lee-Lincoln fault scarp, which measures about 80 meters (262 feet) high, as seen during the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.

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

NASA on Monday also announced an extra $US1.6 billion in funding, given by President Donald Trump's administration, to send the next man and first woman in the moon by 2024.

The mission is named Artemis after the twin sister of Greek god Apollo, after whom NASA named its iconic human spaceflight program.

Trump confirmed the news in a Monday tweet, saying his administration was "restoring NASA to greatness" and that "we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!"

Last week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled the Blue Moon lunar lander, a giant vehicle designed to deliver payloads - and perhaps astronauts one day - to the surface of the moon. Here's what it looks like and how it would work.

NASA just spotted the crash site of Israel’s Beresheet lander.
April was supposed to be an exciting time for Israel's privately-funded space group SpaceIL. 

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