New Pictures Reveal That Moon Might Be Shrinking As It Loses Heat

Fresh research goes to show that Moon might actually be shrinking. The scientists of NASA have made use of data from their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera to look at wrinkles in the surface of the Moon. These wrinkles get formed as the Moon loses heat and shrinks in its size. The Mare Frigoris, which is also known as the Cold Sea, refers to a region close to the Moon’s the North Pole. The scientists completed a survey in excess of 12000 images that showed the hills and trenches on the surface of the Moon, which is quite noteworthy for getting located within a basin. All these wrinkles have been found in other lunar regions as well, like the highlands.

The wrinkles tend to form through a process known as tectonics. Here on Earth, it is mainly driven by the movement of pieces of the Earth’s crust. Still, on the Moon, this process is mainly driven by the loss of heat over a period of time, which basically causes the interior to shrink. A postdoctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, Nathan Williams said that the Moon is still suffering from lunar quakes and shakes from their own internal processes. He further said that Moon has been losing heat over billions of years, thus shrinking and turning to become denser.

In the lifespan of Moon, which was formed four billion years ago, it has managed to shrink quite considerably. The researcher at the Centre for Earth and Planetary Studies, Dr. Thomas Watters said in his statement that depending on the size of the erosion, they tend to make an estimate of the distance between the center of the moon and the shrinking of its surface by around 300 feet.