Moon SHRINKING because of repeated 'moonquakes'

Moon SHRINKING because of repeated 'moonquakes'

According to a new research study, the Moon may be shrinking as it experiences lunar quakes, known as "moonquakes".

Since the Moon's crust is brittle, these forces cause its surface to break as the interior shrinks, resulting in so-called thrust faults, where one section of the crust is pushed up over an adjacent section. On Earth, the quakes would have ranged in magnitude from about 2 to 5.

The faults created by lunar shrinking take the form of stair-like cliffs. The study was published in Nature Geoscience on May 13. They also used an algorithm in order to detect the locations.

But researchers began to suspect that the mystery quakes were caused by active faults in 2009 when examining images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, reports Adam Mann for National Geographic. The study mentions that six of the eight quakes occurred when the moon was at its farthest point from Earth, its apogee. At this time, additional tidal stress from Earth's gravity means that slips along the thrust faults become more likely.

The space agency also revealed the new mission's name will be Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon and twin sister of Apollo.

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.

This prominent lunar lobate thrust fault scarp is one of thousands discovered in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) images. According to scientists, it has caused the surface to wrinkle as it shrinks.


A team of geologists believe these cliff-like features are evidence of lunar tectonic activity.

'We're excited to be landing the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024'. For example, bright patches of ground have been observed near faults, which appear to be patches of lunar regolith that have yet to be darkened by weathering and radiation. NASA's Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.

The Trump administration seeks to increase NASA's next year budget by $1.6 billion - adding to the $21 billion budget President Trump had previously requested - to push forward the initiative, named Artemis, to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024.

Bridenstine says even with more funding, the mission is more a question of time than money. The LROC is managed at Arizona State University in Tempe.

On Monday, Mr Trump tweeted: "Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars".

"I have a daughter, she's 11 years old, and I want her to see herself in the same position that our current, very diverse astronaut corps now sees itself, having the opportunity to go to the Moon", Mr Bridenstine said.

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