Indian scientist has revealed that like our Earth, Moon too has tectonic plates beneath its surface which when collide causes quakes on the Earth’s natural satellite. The claims of quakes on the Moon are based on the photo sent by Chandrayaan-1–India’s first lunar probe.
Saumitra Mukherjee, Professor of Geology & Remote Sensing at School of Environmental Sciences in Jawaharlal Nehru University along with his student Priyadarshini Singh observed the photos of the Moon taken with the help of Narrow Angle Camera and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera of Chandrayaan-1. The images depict South Polar region of the Moon and spews clue on the presence of tectonic plates which when move can cause quakes similar to earthquakes, explained study authors.
Launched by ISRO in October 2008, Chandrayaan was India’s first lunar probe that operated until August 2009. The main aim of the mission was to make a 3-dimentsional model of the Moon and mapping of chemical composition on its surface.
The Professor added that as of now there isn’t any absolute method to predict quakes on the moon until we study the movements of its tectonic plates and later compare it with our Earth to make a model of occurrences of quakes on the natural satellite.
This isn’t the first study that has revealed occurrences of quakes on the moon. Back in 2009, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) had sent photographs that depicted thin valleys called graben on the Moon’s surface. While examining the photos, researchers said that quakes occurred on the Moon nearly 50 million years ago.
Space Application Center in Ahmadabad which is part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) helped Professor Mukherjee in the study. The Professor also believes that the moon too has a core and mantle similar to our Earth and a detailed analysis is required to prove the same.
The study appeared in the journal Nature India, Frontiers in Earth Science and IEEE Geoscience and remote sensing letters.