Do you care? NASA wants to put a woman on the moon

Pablo Tucker
December 1, 2019

This prominent thrust fault is one of thousands discovered on the moon by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The fault scarps themselves are also a clue.

The moon is getting smaller, which causes wrinkles in its surface and moonquakes, according to a new study. It doesn't give just one location however, but gives a few possible locations which are then referenced with the original seismic data to help refine the original source.

During the study, researchers analyzed 28 moonquakes from 1969 to 1977 and found that eight of these quakes were the result of pure tectonic activities.

"The last person walked on the Moon in 1972".

"This additional investment, I want to be clear, is a down payment on NASA's efforts to land humans on the moon by 2024", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a call with reporters announced on a little more than an hour's notice that evening.

Apollo missions 12, 14, 15 and 16 left working "moonquake detectors" (seismometers) on the lunar surface.

There have been a range of theories about what causes quakes, including meteorite collisions or gravitational forces exerted by the Earth and sun.

The timing of the moonquakes was also important: numerous 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. We conclude that the proximity of moonquakes to the young thrust faults together with evidence of regolith disturbance and boulder movements on and near the fault scarps strongly suggest the Moon is tectonically active.

In fact, Watters and his team attribute the moon's interaction with the Earth as part of the reasons the lunar crust is compressing. The thrust fault carries crustal materials up and sometimes over adjacent crustal materials. These dramatic features, which are similar in appearance to cliffs found on Earth, can be miles long and tens of feet high. Instead, any ongoing lunar geological resurfacing would be produced by the slow dissipation of heat from the Moon's core and the tidal stresses that Earth puts on Luna as it orbits.

We tend to think of the moon as the archetypal "dead" world. With almost a decade of LRO imagery already available and more on the way in the coming years, the team would like to compare pictures of specific fault regions from different times to look for fresh evidence of recent moonquakes.

Schmerr added that these new findings are actually emphasising the need to visit moon again in the near future.

'Our #Moon2024 mission is being named after Artemis, who was a sister to Apollo and goddess of the Moon, ' Bridenstine tweeted ahead of the summit. With a larger network of modern seismometers, we could make huge strides in our understanding of the moon's geology. Image captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.

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