NASA measured moonquakes for eight months using three seismometers, and there was some data for which no explanation was found. Found now.

In the 1970s, American astronauts placed three seismometers on the moon’s surface, which collected data between October 1976 and May 1977. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have now re-examined this data and have come to an interesting conclusion.

NASA placed seismometers on the celestial body in order to map the Moon’s structure, similar to the method used on Earth. Because rocks and fluids inside the Earth have different densities, waves travel through them at different speeds, so geologists can figure out what material the waves travel through. This is called seismic tomography.

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By analyzing data from lunar sensors, scientists learned about the internal structure of the celestial body, including that the moon’s inner core is about 500 kilometers in diameter and much less dense than Earth’s core. For this reason, it was thought that moonquakes were not caused by the movement of tectonic plates, but by tidal stress caused by the Earth. This causes the plates to crack and then rub against each other.

Caltech scientists used machine learning to reanalyze data, which showed that earthquakes occur when dusk falls on the celestial body and the moon’s surface begins to cool. However, on the morning of the lunar day, they found frequent tremors, which, according to researchers, could not be of natural origin.

the JGR Planets According to a study published in the scientific journal, the source could have been the Apollo 17 landing gear. According to Allen Hosker, head of the research, a crack could be detected from the structure every 5-6 minutes, which was repeated for 5-6 Earth hours. But only when the sun appears again in the lunar sky.

The tremors are likely caused by thermal expansion. Thanks to the new discovery, researchers can get an idea of ​​how thermal expansion works on the surface of the celestial body.

Hosker is confident they will be able to map subsurface craters as well as sediments that can then be extracted. This could be, for example, discovering and extracting vital water ice from beneath the surface.

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