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On Monday, NASA published an analysis of imagery captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). According to it, the Moon is slowly shrinking and causing wrinkling on its surface and quakes.

The Lunar Basin Mare Frigoris which is near the Moon’s north pole was under surveillance. Over 12,000 images of the same revealed that one of the many vast basins long assumed to be dead sites from a geological point of view — has been cracking and shifting.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You've heard of earthquakes. But what about moonquakes? Like a wrinkled grape drying out to a raisin, the Moon is shrinking as its interior cools causing wrinkles or faults to form on its brittle surface. When enough stress builds, it releases the quakes: <a href="https://t.co/H3ixgywT1p">https://t.co/H3ixgywT1p</a> <a href="https://t.co/OxNrVveAQk">pic.twitter.com/OxNrVveAQk</a></p>— NASA (@NASA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NASA/status/1127960573277278208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 13, 2019</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Unlike the planet Earth, Moon doesn't have tectonic plates. Instead, its tectonic activity occurs as it slowly loses heat from when it was formed 4.5 billion years ago. This, however, causes its surface to wrinkle, similar to a grape that shrivels into a raisin.

Since the moon’s crust is brittle, these forces cause its surface to break as the interior shrinks, resulting in so-called thrust faults, where one section of the crust moves up over an adjacent section. As a result, Earth’s Moon has become about 150 feet (50 meters) “skinnier” over the past several hundred million years.

The Apollo astronauts first measured seismic activity on the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s. They found the vast majority occurred deep in the body’s interior while a smaller number were on its surface.

They published the analysis in Nature Geoscience and examined the shallow moonquakes recorded by the Apollo missions. This established links between them and young surface features.

Nicholas Schmarr, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Maryland who co-authored the study stated “It’s likely that the faults are still active today. You don’t often get to see active tectonics anywhere but Earth, so it’s very exciting to think these faults may still be producing moonquakes.

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