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Moon NASA Science

Moon May Not Be As Dead As We Thought 120

Posted by timothy
from the lunological-activity dept.
rivin2e writes "It would seem our neighbor, the moon, has something hidden below the surface. 'Images collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter hints the moon has probably seen tectonic activity within the last 50 million years.' It would appear from the article that the moon is changing a lot more than we think, even if it doesn't seem like it. I, for one, am still waiting for that big black obelisk to be dug up." From NASA's press release: "A team of researchers analyzing high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) show small, narrow trenches typically much longer than they are wide. This indicates the lunar crust is being pulled apart at these locations. These linear valleys, known as graben, form when the moon's crust stretches, breaks and drops down along two bounding faults. A handful of these graben systems have been found across the lunar surface."
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Moon May Not Be As Dead As We Thought

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  • Moon... dead? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:24AM (#39112085)
    I'm not sure tectonic plate activity really moves a planet over from the 'dead' category to the 'mostly dead' category (also known as 'slightly alive'). Unless of course you just found Thor hanging out there running around banging mountains flat or something.

    Perhaps you meant to say "Moon not as geologically stable as we thought." ?

  • No volcanos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:26AM (#39112123) Homepage Journal

    Regardless of the facts concerning the moon's plate tectonics, there's a lot of evidence of how dead it is in the lack of active volcanoes. Earth has 2-5 eruptions each year, the moon has none, as long as we've been observing it. Any active mantle, must therefor be deep below the crust. I've heard it said that tidally locked planetoids elsewhere in the solar system have some high energy earthquakes due to the relative forces on their near and far faces. Perhaps this is like that?

  • Re:No volcanos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:41AM (#39112355)

    Another good point in favor of dead moon is the seismological studies that were done. Supposedly all evidence at that time pointed to a solid body. For example seismic waves reflect off solid/liq transition boundary, you see that on earth, not on moon, so either the entire moon is liquid or the entire moon is solid, and surface studies clearly show its solid, so the inside must also be solid. Plate tectonics are much harder if the whole moon is a solid cold rock.

    Probably a good excuse to visit the moon again... drop a permanent base, several geologists with moon buggies and C-4 to run some standard seismic surveys...

  • Re:Lava Tubes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:43AM (#39112413)

    But that was before they got a closer look.

    When the model changes to accept new data, we call it science.

    When the model never changes and rejects all new data, we call it religion and dogma.

    Hope this helps.

    --
    BMO

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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