Shriveling Moon Could Trigger Future Moonquakes Near NASA’s Artemis Mission – here’s how!

WASHINGTON – Scientists have recently revealed that the moon has been experiencing a decrease in circumference for hundreds of millions of years, resulting in shallow moonquakes. Lunar geologist Tom Watters stated that the common misconception of the moon being geologically inactive is false, as it is actually a seismically active body.

Research on moonquakes dates back to the Apollo era, with astronauts placing seismometers on the near side of the moon to monitor tremors. The most powerful shallow quake was found near the south pole, which is a potential landing site for NASA’s Artemis III mission. This region is particularly alluring due to its permanently shadowed areas, where water-based ice may be found.

A recent study led by Watters and his team suggests that the powerful moonquake near the south pole is linked to seismically active faults, which were formed as a result of the moon’s shrinking. These quakes could potentially trigger landslides from loose rocks and dust from surrounding craters.

Some researchers argue that there is still insufficient information to determine hazardous areas for landing on the moon, emphasizing the need for further investigation.

According to the study, the moon’s shrinking, driven by the natural cooling of its molten core, has led to the formation of thrust faults as the surface contracts and adjusts to the change in volume. Earth’s gravitational pull on the moon also contributes to the formation of these thrust faults.

While the shrinkage of the moon has negligible effects on Earth, it does not significantly alter the occurrence of eclipses or affect Earth’s tides. However, it has significant implications for future human visits to the moon. The presence of active faults and the susceptibility of certain areas to landslides highlight the potential hazards that must be mitigated for any lunar outpost or base.

Moonquakes, although not occurring frequently, can last for hours due to the moon’s weaker gravity. The potential impact of these quakes on future human visits to the moon has sparked debates among researchers, with some emphasizing the need to protect against potential hazards, while others remain skeptical about the extent of the threat.

Overall, the findings point to the importance of thorough research and hazard assessment before establishing any human presence on the moon. The scientific community still requires a better understanding of local site conditions and potential moonquake sources to accurately assess the risks and develop appropriate mitigation strategies.