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In 2010, an analysis of images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) found that the Moon shriveled like a raisin as its interior cooled, leaving behind thousands of cliffs called thrust faults on the lunar surface. Over the last few hundred million years, the surface has contracted about 150 feet.

As the moon's interior cools, it shrinks, which causes its hard surface to crack and form fault lines, according to research sponsored by NASA.

On Earth the shallow quakes - the type produced by tectonic faults - would have ranged in magnitude from about 2 to 5 on the Richter scale.

The moonquakes recorded aren't minor, they are "fairly strong, around five on the Richter scale". Tectonic activity makes moonquakes a regular occurrence, according to a paper in Nature Geoscience.

The researchers analysed the data of the seismometers with an algorithm designed in such a way that it could predict the pinpointed location of the quakes detected by a sparse seismic network.

Six out of the eight tectonically active moonquakes occurred when the Moon was at or close to its apogee, the point where it's most distant from Earth and where the diurnal and recession stresses create the most compression near the tidal axis. The researchers ran 10,000 simulations to calculate the chance of a coincidence producing that many quakes near the faults at the time of greatest stress.

Moonquakes are also corroborated from the highly detailed images of the Moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission.

A new analysis of Apollo-era quakes on the Moon reveal that our satellite is probably still tectonically active.

At least eight are linked to thrust faults that are formed as the moon shrinks.

The relative proximity of the quakes to the faults suggest that they were triggered by geological activity rather than asteroid impacts or tremors from much deeper within the rocky body.

NASA previously set a goal to land American astronauts on the lunar surface by 2028 - which was declared "not good enough" by Vice President Pence in March during a National Space Council meeting. Cutting across the valley, just above the landing site, is the Lee-Lincoln fault scarp. "The moon's formation generated a lot of heat, and it has been gradually cooling off ever since". He said that the name, after the goddess Artemis in Greek mythology, is in honor of the agency's plan to put the first woman on the moon. And if we're planning to built outposts on the Moon, we'll probably want to know a bit more about these moonquakes. These American astronauts will take a human landing system from the Gateway in lunar orbit, and land on the lunar South Pole.

"For me, these findings emphasize that we need to go back to the moon", Schmerr added in the statement.

"This investment is a down payment on NASA's efforts and will allow us to move forward in design, development and exploration", Bridenstine said.


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