We are getting closer to sending people to the Moon again, but the latest research shows strange behavior of the Silver Globe. Not only is it moving away from us, but it is also getting smaller.
Both NASA and China are preparing for sending its astronauts to the Moon. Both sides plan to create their own bases there, where they will be able to send scientists and conduct experiments. It turns out that they will also have to face one more problem. The area they are interested in can become very dangerous.
The moon is shrinking and moving away
Back in 2022, we found out that The moon is constantly moving away from us. Each year it is on average 3.78 cm further than the previous year. This may seem like a small difference, considering that the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,400 kilometers, but it is not the only problem. It turns out that The Silver Globe is not only moving away from us, but also shrinking.
For the last 800 years, according to recent research published in The Planetary Science Journal The moon shrank by about 50 meters. The analyzed data were provided by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and seismographs left on the Moon during the Apollo mission. It turns out that the greatest activity concerns the South Pole, i.e. the place where NASA astronauts are planned to land.
The cause of the shrinking of the Moon is the movement of rock masses in existing faults or during the formation of new ones. This is accompanied by seismic events, which, according to experts, should be taken into account during planning lunar missions, especially when it comes to creating special bases and habitats.
On the Moon, shallow quakes can be experienced up to about 100 kilometers deep. Similar events occur on Earth, but here they usually last a few seconds. On the Silver Globe this can last for several hours. According to scientists, this may be a serious threat to machines sent to the Moon, as well as potential future colonies.