Feeds

CRACK made by quakes FOUND ON MOON

Paparazzo probe's pic hints at smoking hot insides

Top three mobile application threats

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has snapped shots showing that the Moon's crust has been stretched and pulled fairly recently to form tiny valleys on its surfaces.

Recent valleys on the Moon's surface

Recent valleys on the Moon's surface. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University/Smithsonian Institution

The moonquakes occurred some time in the last 50 million years, which in Moon time is pretty recent since the rock is over 4.5 billion years old.

The valleys, known as graben, are narrow cracks on the surface that show the lunar crust is being pulled apart along two bounding faults.

"We think the Moon is in a general state of global contraction because of cooling of a still hot interior," said Thomas Watters, lead author of a paper on this research appearing in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"The graben tell us forces acting to shrink the moon were overcome in places by forces acting to pull it apart. This means the contractional forces shrinking the moon cannot be large, or the small graben might never form."

Formation of Moon valleys

The findings raise questions about how the Moon evolved and whether or not it is still in the process of completely forming.

Scientists had assumed that the Moon was all done with tectonic activity, because the youngest geological markers on the surface were thought to be about a billion years old.

The graben show that the interior of the Moon could still be smoking hot and molten. If the core was cooling, the surface of the Moon would be wrinkling up, not cracking to form valleys.

"It was a big surprise when I spotted graben in the far side highlands," said co-author Mark Robinson, principal investigator of LROC.

"It's exciting when you discover something totally unexpected and only about half the lunar surface has been imaged in high resolution. There is much more of the Moon to be explored." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.