This is published by NASA Original story Edited by Earthsky on January 25, 2024.
The moon shrinks and causes earthquakes
In the next few years, NASA plans to send astronauts to the South Pole of the Moon with its Artemis campaign. On January 25, 2024, NASA released data from a study that will help scientists better understand this strategic part of the Moon. The study suggests that earthquakes and faults caused by the gradual cooling and contraction of the moon's interior include areas near some of the identified areas. Candidate Landing Areas For the first crew landing of Artemis 3.
Our modeling suggests that slip events from existing faults or the formation of new thrust faults are possible, with shallow earthquakes capable of generating strong ground shaking in the South Pole region. Global distribution of young thrust faults, their ability to remain active and potential for new generation Impulse mistakes When planning the location and stability of permanent outposts on the Moon, consideration should be given to the current global compactness.
Monitoring the Moon's Earthquakes
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera On NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) exists detected Thousands of small, young thrust faults are widely distributed in the lunar crust. Scarps are rock-like landforms that resemble small steps on the lunar surface. They form where compressional forces break the crust and push or push up on one side of the fault and down on the other. Due to compressions and global compression wave forces from Earth and the cooling of the still hot interior of the Moon.
Formation of faults involves seismic activity in the form of shallow deep earthquakes. The Apollo Passive Seismic Network continuously recorded shallow earthquakes Seismometers That Apollo Astronauts stopped. The strongest recorded shallow earthquake was centered in the South Pole region. A young thrust-fault scarp lies within Gerlache Rim 2, the Artemis 3 candidate landing area. The study modeled it to show that the formation of this fault scarp could be related to earthquakes of record magnitude.
Lunar South Pole: Home of ice and earthquakes
The team also modeled the stability of surface slopes in the lunar south pole region and found that some areas are vulnerable. Regolith Even mild earthquakes cause landslides. This includes some areas that are permanently shaded and may have snow.
Renee WeberA co-author of the paper at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama said:
To better understand the seismic risk for future human activities on the Moon, new seismic data are needed not only at the South Pole, but globally. Tasks like coming up Foresight Seismic Suite It will expand on the measurements made during Apollo and increase our knowledge of global seismicity.
Bottom line: The moon shrinks, causing earthquakes and faults near its south pole. This area is important for future Artemis missions because it contains icy deposits.
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