US News: New study suggests the Moon may be shrinking - PressFrom - United Kingdom

US NewsNew study suggests the Moon may be shrinking

05:40  14 may  2019
05:40  14 may  2019 Source:

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But the moon does appear to be shrinking . According to a new sudy, the surface of the moon is displaying some relatively young geological features—they are only about a billion years old—that are usually indicative of a planetary body’s cooling and contracting. Known as lobate scarps, the features

A new analysis suggests that the moon may still be shrinking today and actively producing moonquakes along these thrust faults. A team of researchers including Nicholas Schmerr, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Maryland, designed a new algorithm to re-analyze seismic

(Video by: Geobeats)

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. The Moon is one place we know that experiences those kinds of shifts, and new research suggests that it might actually be making the Moon smaller over time.

The study, which was published in Nature Geoscience, explains how the cliffs observed on the Moon’s surface hint at a cooling spell that occurred after the Moon formed. As it cooled, it “shriveled like a raisin,” and large cliffs formed on the surface when the Moon’s crust was compressed. These regions, known as thrust faults, may still be growing today, and the overall size of the Moon may be shrinking as a result.

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The moon is slowly shrinking over time, which is causing wrinkles in its crust and moonquakes, according to photos captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Unlike Earth, the moon doesn’t have tectonic plates. Instead, as the moon ’s interior has cooled over the last several hundred

Now a new study , published in Nature Geoscience, suggests the moon may indeed have active faults today. That means that the moon is shrinking slightly. However, thrust faults don’t necessarily have to be active and moving, causing more further tremors.

New study suggests the Moon may be shrinking © Provided by Penske Media Corporation moonthingy The researchers combined observations from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter with new analysis of seismic readings gathered during the Apollo moon missions. This revisiting of the data revealed the approximate source of dozens of lunar quakes detected by the instruments.

“We found that a number of the quakes recorded in the Apollo data happened very close to the faults seen in the LRO imagery,” Nicholas Schmerr of the University of Maryland, co-author of the study, said in a statement. “It’s quite likely that the faults are still active today. You don’t often get to see active tectonics anywhere but Earth, so it’s very exciting to think these faults may still be producing moonquakes.”

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New images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft show the moon 's crust is The weak contraction suggests that the moon , unlike the terrestrial planets, did not completely The scarps are evidence the moon shrank globally in the geologically recent past and might still be

AP - The moon may be shrinking but it will not be disappearing any time soon. New research indicates cracks in the moon ’s crust that have formed as the interior has cooled and shrunk The study calls the scarps “evidence of recent thrust faulting on the moon .” But this is planetary science

New study suggests the Moon may be shrinking © Ismael Jordá As on Earth, pressure along fault lines builds up to a point where the force of friction can no longer prevent the large rocky plates from moving. When that movement occurs, a quake is felt, and in the case of the Moon the continued movement of the plates may indicate that it’s not done shrinking.

The researchers suggest that this is just another of many reasons why mankind should prioritize a revisit of the Moon. Learning more about how the Moon works and the mechanics at play on the surface could teach us a great deal about other planets as well, and help prepare organizations like NASA for trips deeper into space.

Gallery: Biggest space missions of the next decade (Popular Mechanics)

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