Shrinking moon may cause moonquakes

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

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. As the interior shrinks the hard crusty, brittle exterior breaks causing "thrust faults" where one section of the crust is pushed up over a neighboring part. Scientists believe that due to this, the Moon has shrunk about 150 feet during the last millions years.

NASA's planned mission to the moon-which aims to put the first woman on the lunar surface by 2024- has been named Artemis after the ancient Greek goddess who is the daughter of Zeus and Leto.

It has been almost 50 years since NASA's Apollo program sent the first men to the moon, but with NASA's new focus on putting a woman on the moon, it is only fitting that the mission bear Apollo's twin sister's name, Artemis.

Using the revised location estimates from the new algorithm, the team found that eight of the 28 shallow quakes were within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of faults visible in lunar images.

Watters said that "it's very likely that these eight quakes were produced by faults slipping as stress built up when the lunar crust was compressed by global contraction and tidal forces, indicating that the Apollo seismometers recorded the shrinking moon and the moon is still tectonically active". Still, in order to meet the ambitious five-year goal, NASA has said it would scale back the scope of the Gateway, at least initially. There is also a small crater with the name in Mare Imbrium, or the Sea of Showers, on the moon.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft took this photo of the Taurus-Littrow valley, which was explored in 1972 by the Apollo 17 mission.

The study is published on May 14 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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In 2010, Watters spearheaded a team that scrutinized images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter instigated in 2009 and discerned innumerable serpentine cliffs administered broadly over the surface. Boulder fields, patches of relatively high bright soil or regolith, are found on the scarp face and back scarp terrain (high side of the scarp, right-pointing arrows). 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. The reason is that the inner part of the moon is being cooled. At the time, however, we didn't have enough data to map those quakes to specific features on the Moon itself.

"We need a transfer module to get from the gateway down to lower lunar orbit".

It also includes $132 million and $90 million respectively for key exploration technologies such as solar electric propulsion and devices that convert polar ice to water, as well as increased robotic exploration of the moon's polar regions.

He added: 'The president has granted us 1.6 billion additional dollars, that didn't come from the science mission directorate, it didn't come from the International Space Station - 1.6 billion additional dollars for our acceleration of the lunar program so that we can get the next man and the first woman to the surface of the moon.

In addition to the groundbreaking research, NASA hopes that this new exploration will inspire the next generation of scientists.

This illustration shows NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) in the Block 1 cargo configuration. Image credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University / Smithsonian Institution.

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