Earth Questions


QWhat do moonquakes reveal about the Moon?

This is a study guide for the test: please help !


A) The Moon is quite active , almost as much as Jupiter's moon Io .
B ) It has a strong magnetic field generated by a large molten core .
C ) The Moon has been geologically dead throughout its history .
D ) Its small partially molten core has thrown at us by tidal forces .
E ) has a distinct nucleus , moved away from us by the rotation of the Moon .
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2 answers.
#1AbbyAnswered at 2012-12-27 09:28:49
F ) None of the above The moon is geologically active , and has a liquid outer core about 50 kilometers thick . The moon is not as Io is geologically active . The study guide is wrong or does not exist .
#2LebzaAnswered at 2013-06-22 11:59:30
There are at least four different kinds of moonquakes: (1) deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface, probably caused by tides; (2) vibrations from the impact of meteorites; (3) thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the frigid crust when first illuminated by the morning sun after two weeks of deep-freeze lunar night; and (4) shallow moonquakes only 20 or 30 kilometers below the surface.
The first three were generally mild and harmless. Shallow moonquakes on the other hand were doozies. Between 1972 and 1977, the Apollo seismic network saw twenty-eight of them; a few "registered up to 5.5 on the Richter scale," says Neal. A magnitude 5 quake on Earth is energetic enough to move heavy furniture and crack plaster.

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Furthermore, shallow moonquakes lasted a remarkably long time. Once they got going, all continued more than 10 minutes. "The moon was ringing like a bell," Neal says.
On Earth, vibrations from quakes usually die away in only half a minute. The reason has to do with chemical weathering, Neal explains: "Water weakens stone, expanding the structure of different minerals. When energy propagates across such a compressible structure, it acts like a foam sponge—it deadens the vibrations." Even the biggest earthquakes stop shaking in less than 2 minutes.
The moon, however, is dry, cool and mostly rigid, like a chunk of stone or iron. So moonquakes set it vibrating like a tuning fork. Even if a moonquake isn't intense, "it just keeps going and going," Neal says. And for a lunar habitat, that persistence could be more significant than a moonquake's magnitude.
"Any habitat would have to be built of materials that are somewhat flexible," so no air-leaking cracks would develop. "We'd also need to know the fatigue threshold of building materials," that is, how much repeated bending and shaking they could withstand.
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