Moon is Much More Seismically Active Than Previously Realized

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute

The Moon’s Seismic Activity Revealed

A recent study has shed light on the moon’s seismic activity, unveiling over 22,000 previously unknown moonquakes through a reanalysis of data from NASA’s Apollo missions. This discovery has almost tripled the total count of recorded seismic events on the moon. Unlike earthquakes on Earth, moonquakes are triggered by internal movements caused by gradual temperature changes and meteorite impacts, as the moon lacks tectonic plates. Therefore, moonquakes are significantly weaker compared to earthquakes.

Between 1969 and 1977, seismometers deployed by Apollo astronauts detected about 13,000 moonquakes, which were the only lunar seismic events documented until now. However, a meticulous reevaluation of the Apollo records unearthed an additional 22,000 lunar quakes, bringing the total count to 35,000.

Discovery and Impact of the Study

This groundbreaking research, presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, suggests that the moon might be more seismically and tectonically active presently than previously assumed. The study has caught the attention of experts like Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna, a geophysicist at the University of Arizona, who emphasized the significance of these findings.

It is remarkable that after half a century, new surprises are still emerging from the data related to lunar seismic activity. The study has revealed that the moon might have more seismic and tectonic activity than was previously recognized.

Apollo Mission Data Reevaluation

The Apollo missions deployed two types of seismometers on the lunar surface to capture seismic activities: one focused on long-period data and the other on short-period data. The short-period data, which predominantly remained unexplored due to numerous operational challenges and interference, has been revisited in this study.

Keisuke Onodera, a seismologist at the University of Tokyo, meticulously analyzed the previously neglected short-period data using advanced techniques to cleanse the interference. His efforts led to the identification of 30,000 moonquake candidates, with 22,000 confirmed as actual lunar quakes.

Implications and Future Research

The new findings not only highlight the underestimated lunar seismic activity but also suggest that several quakes originate from shallower depths than previously assumed, indicating potentially new fault-oriented mechanisms. Nevertheless, additional data is essential to validate these theories.

Upcoming moon missions, such as NASA’s lunar seismometers aboard Intuitive Machine’s Odysseus lander, following India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission’s recent moonquake detection, are anticipated to provide further insights into moonquakes. These missions could contribute significantly to broadening our understanding of lunar seismicity and tectonic processes.

Image/Photo credit: source url

About Post Author

Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %