Berlin. The circumference of the moon is decreasing. Researchers have now examined the effects in more detail, and the results are alarming.
It may seem strange, but scientists have long noticed that… moon Getting smaller and smaller: shrinking. Over the past 100 million years – which has not yet been noticed by humans – the circumference of Earth's satellite has decreased by more than 46 metres. Researchers suspect this is because the Moon's interior is slowly cooling, causing the surface to shrink – similar to the drying of raisins.
Problem: This increases seismic activity and causes frequent moonquakes and slides on the surface. Exactly these and their effects Researchers They've now been examined in more detail – and we've come to a worrying conclusion: earthquakes occurring on the Moon could have an impact on future lunar missions.
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In their study, published in the Journal of Planetary Science, the scientists specifically examined the south polar region of the Moon. There they were able to discover large defects on the surface, including areas that had previously been covered by it NASA The landing of the Artemis-3 mission was considered. Using models to simulate the stability of the region's surface slopes, the team found that some areas are particularly vulnerable to landslides due to seismic tremors.
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Space travel: Moonquakes can last for several hours
“Our models suggest that shallow lunar earthquakes that can produce strong earthquakes in the Antarctic region are possible through slippage on existing faults or through the formation of new thrust faults,” said the study's lead author. StadyThomas Waters, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, said in a statement:
On an apartment Moon earthquake These are earthquakes that only occur at a depth of about 100 kilometers below the surface. They can be so powerful that they can destroy buildings or equipment. In addition, unlike earthquakes, moonquakes can last for several hours and cause greater damage.
since The surface of the moon If the weather is dusty, dry and sometimes not particularly solid, landslides or lunar collapses may also occur. So the researchers warn: “The global distribution of small thrust faults, their ability to be active, and the potential for the formation of new thrust faults through ongoing global contraction must be taken into account when planning the location and stability of permanent outposts on the Moon.”
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