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Scientists Warn of Moon Shrinking and Potential Dangers for Future Lunar Missions

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Scientists warn of the possibility that the moon, Earth’s natural satellite, continues to shrink. The moon is said to have lost its dimensional circumference of up to 100 meters over the last few hundred million years.

Quoted from the page The News, Sunday (4/2/2024), the shrinkage was caused by cooling in the moon’s core. This process causes the surface in several parts of the South Pole moon curved significantly.

A new study initiated by a research team from the University of Maryland in the United States reveals something else. The shrinking of the moon, accompanied by seismic activity such as earthquakes, could lead to an increase in landslides on the moon.

This condition has the potential to pose a danger to astronaut in the future which is in an area near the moon’s fault zone. One of the study’s authors, Thomas Watters of the US Air and Space Museum, suggested plans for the next lunar mission should be considered carefully.

“The global distribution of newly created thrust faults, has the potential to become active and form new thrust faults from ongoing global contraction. This must be considered when planning the location and stability of permanent outposts on the Moon,” said Watters.

Researchers have linked faults in the Moon’s south polar region to a powerful earthquake recorded by Apollo seismometers more than 50 years ago. This means that there are certain areas at the moon’s south pole that are very vulnerable to landslides due to seismic shocks.

Moonquakes, caused by faults in the moon’s interior, can damage man-made structures and equipment on the lunar surface. This natural phenomenon can last for hours or even all day.

The trigger is loose sediment in lunar surface which was formed from the collision of asteroids and comets over billions of years. The moon’s surface consists of dry gravel and dust, impacted by asteroids and comets over billions of years.

Another researcher in the study, Nicholas Schmerr, explained that the fragments produced by the process, ranging in size from microns to large rocks, were loosely consolidated. So, it is very vulnerable to shocks and landslides.

Schmerr highlighted that the United States Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to launch the first manned flight to the moon as part of the Artemis mission in late 2024. The goal of the mission is to identify dangerous locations on the moon for future human exploration.

“This work helps us prepare for what awaits us on the Moon, whether it is engineering structures that can better withstand the Moon’s seismic activity or protect humans from extremely dangerous zones,” said Schmerr.

In 2019, NASA via its official website, nasa.govexplains that The moon is waning as he gets older. This is due to cooling inside. The moon is compared to a grape that shrivels when it shrinks into a raisin. Unfortunately, unlike the flexible skin of grapes, the surface crust of the moon is fragile, so it breaks when the moon wanes.

2024-02-04 07:40:49
#Moon #Size #Predicted #Continue #Shrink #Turns #Republika #Online

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