Moon is Shrinking

Moon is slowly shrinking and collapsing: new research

Moon is slowly shrinking and collapsing: new research

It may seem like a gradual process, but shrinkage is causing significant surface changes in parts of the moon's south pole, researchers at the University of Maryland say.

According to a new study, the Moon is slowly shrinking, causing an increase in the number of asteroids that could pose a threat to future astronauts.

Over the past few million years, Earth's natural planet diameter has decreased by more than 100 meters as its interior has cooled.

Researchers at the University of Maryland say that it may seem like a gradual process, but the shrinkage is causing significant surface changes in parts of the Moon's south pole, including NASA spacecraft. Also included are the proposed landing areas for Artemis 3. Artemis will also be crewed.

Because the shrinking of the Moon is accompanied by earthquakes, scientists have warned that places near fault zones could pose a threat to future humans.

Study co-author Thomas Waters, from the National Air and Space Museum, said, "When planning the location and stability of permanent outposts on the Moon, the distribution of new fault lines, their potential for activation, and their ability to contract The possibility of new fault lines being created by ongoing processes should be considered.'

In a new study, researchers have linked fault lines in the moon's south polar region to one of the most powerful earthquakes recorded by seismometers aboard the Apollo spacecraft 50 years ago.

Researchers discovered that some regions of the Moon's south pole are particularly vulnerable to landslides caused by earthquakes.

Like earthquakes on Earth, earthquakes caused by fault lines in the Moon's interior can be powerful enough to damage man-made structures and equipment on its surface, scientists say.

But unlike Earthquakes that last only a few seconds, moonquakes can last for hours and even the entire afternoon. This means these mild earthquakes could destroy future human settlements.

This is due to the softening of the soil on the surface of the moon as a result of collisions between asteroids and comets over billions of years.

"You can see the surface of the moon as dry, strewn gravel and dust," says Nicolas Shimer, another author of the study. Its surface has been battered by asteroids and comets for billions of years. As a result of this collision, pointed rocks continued to exist.

As a result, the affected material on the surface can be very small in size to the size of a rock, but the material is very soft. Due to the softness of the soil, it is very possible for it to shake and landslide.

NASA hopes to send the first crewed spacecraft to the moon in more than five decades as part of the Artemis mission in late 2024.

With plans for a long-term presence on the lunar surface, researchers hope to further explore the moon to identify more sites that could prove dangerous for human exploration.

"This process is helping us prepare for the conditions on the moon that await us there," Dr Shimer said. "Whether it's engineering structures that can better withstand earthquakes on the moon or keeping people from going into really dangerous areas."

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