NASA study reveals Moon shrinks continuously causing quakes on its surface

SHRIVELLING The Moon is wrinkling like a raisin as its core shrinks

SHRIVELLING The Moon is wrinkling like a raisin as its core shrinks

It was launched on June 18, 2009.

The agency's chief of human spaceflight, Bill Gerstenmaier, said the additional funding now would allow the agency to begin awarding design and development contracts for the lander elements by September or October of this year.

As the moon's interior cools, it shrinks, which causes its hard surface to crack and form fault lines, according to research sponsored by NASA. When a cold and brittle object like the Moon shrinks its surface breaks and develops thrust faults where one part gets elevated as compared to the surrounding area. The interior of the moon is cooling, causing it to grow smaller.

The agency said this was causing the moon to develop "wrinkles", and likened the moon's shrinkage to a grape shriveling into a raisin.

The moonquakes recorded aren't minor, they are "fairly strong, around five on the Richter scale". Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt had to zig-zag their lunar rover up and over the cliff face of the Lee-Lincoln fault scarp during the Apollo 17 mission that landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley in 1972. "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".

Although the Apollo missions occurred decades ago, "the Apollo seismometers are the only ones deployed on the Moon", Watters said in an email to CTV News.

The photographs also show physical evidence of geologically recent fault movement - such as landslides and tumbled boulders.

According to an global website, the faults form when the crust moves around, and one part of the crust is pushed up over another.

Using the revised location estimates from their new algorithm, Dr. Schmerr and colleagues found that the epicenters of eight of the 28 shallow quakes were within 19 miles of faults visible in the LRO images. "We learned a lot from the Apollo missions, but they really only scratched the surface". Between 1969 and 1977, four of these instruments, except the one planted by Apollo 11, remained functional and measured 28 shallow quakes. Artemis was goddess of the hunt as well as the moon. The north and south Massif are the Lunar Mountains that make the lunar valley named Taurus-Littrow. The fault scarps themselves are also a clue. They built shake maps to show what forces would be experienced during moonquakes along these faults.

"America has always been the preeminent power in space but we're facing more and more competition as other nations propose bold exploration plans", Lucas said.

Quakes on Earth happen due to a very different reason. Apparently, the moon is aging the same way.

The images revealed that the quakes are still occurring on the moon, making it actively changing.

"Our efforts will include new work at NASA centers to provide the key technologies and scientific payloads needed for the lunar surface, adding to efforts already underway across the country".