Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Earthquake month every day. However, NASA scientists revealed that the causes of Earthquakes and Moonquakes are very different.
According to Space.com, Currently there is actually no significant geological activity on the Moon. The last tectonic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and gas bursts occurred in the period between 2.5 million billion years and 3.7 billion years ago.
These traces of geological activity appear clear and long-lasting because, unlike Earth, the Moon’s surface is not affected by the air that makes up the atmosphere.
The current Moonquakes, according to NASA, are the impact of Earth’s gravity (a phenomenon known as ‘tidal flexing’) and temperature variations. Vibrations due to these temperature variations are referred to as “moonquakes.”
NASA has “moonquake” data coming from seismometers carried by the Apollo missions.
Experts from Caltech recently published a research report based on such data, which was processed using machine learning technology (machine learning).
The results of data processing show that moonquakes occur very regularly, coinciding with the movement of the Sun from its peak position to sunset. This routine phenomenon means that moonquakes can be used as a reference for time on the Moon, which can potentially be used by the next mission to travel to the Moon or by “Moon dwellers.”
Different from vibrations that occur due to Earth’s gravity, Moonquakes are the impact of temperature changes in the Moon’s crust. Because the Moon is not covered in air, the heat of sunlight never lasts long on the Moon’s surface. Sudden changes in temperature also occur when the Sun “rises” on the Moon.
Based on NASA data, the Moon’s crust heats up to 120 degrees Celsius when it is at its peak, then the temperature drops to minus 133 degrees Celsius at “night” on the Moon.
Alternating heat and cold cause the Moon’s crust to expand and contract rapidly, creating small vibrations. In 1972, astronauts from the Apollo 17 mission installed seismometers to measure this activity.
The sensor collected data for 8 months from October 1976 to May 1977. After years of just being stored, a research team led by Francesco Civilini of Caltech ran an analysis using machine learning models.
As a result, Moonquakes apparently occur at the same time every day, namely every afternoon before evening when the Sun moves away from its peak position so that the surface of the Moon “cools” quickly.
However, the results of data processing also detected other signs of vibration in the morning with different patterns. Researchers estimate that the origin of this vibration occurred only a few hundred meters from the Apollo 17 landing vehicle.
“Every morning on the Moon, when sunlight hits the Apollo 17 spacecraft, data begins to be recorded. Every 5 to 6 minutes, vibrations occur, within a 5 to 7 hour period of Earth time. Very routine and repetitive,” said Allen Husker of Caltech.
The results of this research, according to Space.com, has many benefits for the next mission to the Moon. For example, in choosing the most appropriate structure and materials for the Moon’s dwelling. Residential plans on the Moon such as the Artemis Base Camp, International Lunar Research Station and Lunar Village may be more appropriate to use composite materials rather than mixed metals.
Additionally, Moonquakes could be a way to find water. “Hopefully we can map the area beneath the Moon’s surface and look for deposits [es]. There are also several craters at the south pole of the Moon that are not exposed to sunlight. If we could put a seismometer there, we could look for ice trapped beneath the surface. “Seismic waves travel more slowly if they pass through water,” Husker said.
Research on Moonquakes was funded by NASA and published in an article entitled “Thermal Moonquake Characterization and Cataloging Using Frequency-Based Algorithms and Stochastic Gradient Descent,” in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets.
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