The Moon Is Shrinking Like Grapes Generating Moonquakes, According to NASA


Earth's moon developed vast basins called "mare" billions of years ago, and for a long time, scientists have thought that these basins were dead. Some of these images show landslides or boulders at the bottom of relatively bright patches on the slopes of fault scarps or nearby terrain.

After its formation, the moon's interior cooled over time, causing the surface of the moon to shrink the same way a grape shrivels up into a raisin, according to NASA.

NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, said the architecture for the Artemis program would be open to commercial and global partners.

But unlike other rocky bodies, the Moon's core is only 20 per cent of its structure, not 50 per cent. It is surrounded by a liquid outer core, a viscous mantle, and the outer crust.

All these slow and bulky movements produce geological activity like volcanoes and earthquakes. The entire lunar surface is just one hard solid shell.

A new study reveals that the moon may be shrinking and actively producing moonquakes.

Bridenstine said the mission was named Artemis after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the programme that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972. The bulk of them came from deep within, indicating that Earth's pull was stretching and tugging at the interior.

The Moon is getting smaller and is prone to moonquakes, according to new Nasa research.

Last week, the world got a glimpse of one possible contender after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled Blue Moon, a mock-up of a human-class lander developed by his private space venture, Blue Origin.

The moonquakes recorded aren't minor, they are "fairly strong, around five on the Richter scale".

However, while valuable, the Apollo data could not pinpoint the epicentres of the quakes to understand how they're caused.

"It's really remarkable to see how data from almost 50 years ago and from the LRO mission has been combined to advance our understanding of the moon while suggesting where future missions intent on studying the moon's interior processes should go", said Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Project Scientist John Keller.

From the data analysed and algorithms used, researchers were able to determine eight of the 28 shallow quakes recorded were within 30 kilometres of faults and were visible in lunar images.

Of the 28 quakes, eight were within 30 kilometres of scarps.

The moon is shrinking!

But they ran in a fixed pattern: Near the poles, they ran east to west, while near the equator, they ran north to south.

'So again, we are accelerating the path to get to the moon.

Of the eight located near scarps, five were during the apogee. "Exploring the moon is the next step in our agency's story, and it will be to the benefit of all of us".

The moon doesn't have volcanoes, tectonic plates that scrape against each other, or other complex phenomena that make planets like Earth so geologically complex. China has also stated that it's vying to be the first space-faring nation to reach Mars. And once in a while, there's a crack and a thundering quake slips out into the low-gravity environment, deadlier than it would be on Earth. These are cliffs caused by the Moon's surface shearing away from itself, thanks to long-term shrinking and contracting of the surface.