More Evidence Our Moon Is Young
Moonquakes are still occurring. Why didn’t geological activity cease billions of years ago?
“Study Finds New Wrinkles on Earth’s Moon,” says a JPL press release on May 13. Moonquakes have been known since the Apollo astronauts left seismographs on the moon. What’s new is evidence of young “wrinkle ridges” in lunar basins, discovered by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). These features disprove an assumption long believed by lunar geologists, namely, that the lunar basins stopped contracting 1.2 billion years ago. The press release, despite the moyboy language, starts with a big surprise:
Billions of years ago, Earth’s Moon formed vast basins called “mare” (pronounced MAR-ay). Scientists have long assumed these basins were dead, still places where the last geologic activity occurred long before dinosaurs roamed Earth.
But a survey of more than 12,000 images reveals that at least one lunar mare has been cracking and shifting as much as other parts of the Moon – and may even be doing so today. The study adds to a growing understanding that the Moon is an actively changing world.
The scientists still believe the moon is billions of years old. Now, though, they have to stretch out the time that the moon has been cooling and shrinking. If the moon did not cease activity 1.2 billion years ago, it means their previous beliefs were off by about 27% of the assumed age of the solar system.
The wrinkle ridges, thought to form as the moon contracts, are associated with “very young surface features called lobate thrust fault scarps.” The ridges, which can rise a thousand feet above the surface, cut through fresh-looking, unfilled craters. This is another strong indication that they formed recently. A video clip at Space.com zooms in on the ridges to show what they look like.
At The Conversation, George Rothery of the Open University, writes about the stunning news that a study suggests that “The moon is still geologically active.” With a Tontological introduction, he rushes to correct wrong beliefs that have dominated the scientific establishment:
We tend to think [Who’s “we,” paleface?] of the moon as the archetypal “dead” world. Not only is there no life, almost all its volcanic activity died out billions of years ago. Even the youngest lunar lava is old enough to have become scarred by numerous impact craters that have been collected over the aeons as cosmic debris crashed into the ground.
Hints that the moon is not quite geologically dead though have been around since the Apollo era, 50 years ago. Apollo missions 12, 14, 15 and 16 left working “moonquake detectors” (seismometers) on the lunar surface. These transmitted recorded data to Earth until 1977, showing vibrations caused by internal “moonquakes”. But no one was sure whether any of these were associated with actual moving faults breaking the surface of the moon or purely internal movements that could also cause tremors. Now a new study, published in Nature Geoscience, suggests the moon may indeed have active faults today.
The paper in Nature Geoscience states,
We conclude that the proximity of moonquakes to the young thrust faults together with evidence of regolith disturbance and boulder movements on and near the fault scarps strongly suggest the Moon is tectonically active.
How many quakes? Space.com says one quake per day is detected. Mindy Waisberger of Live Science says there are “tons of quakes” going on (even though energetic activity is measured in joules, not tons). The fault scarps, she says, are “no more than 50 million years old” (about 10% of the assumed age of the moon). Impacts can cause moonquakes; that’s what scientists assumed were causing the ones measured by Apollo-era detectors. Now, the LRO scientists believe that 25% of the quakes are caused by geological activity at these ‘young’ fault scarps, because many of the epicenters of the quakes lie within a few miles of the ridges.
When geologists and planetary scientists are wrong, they can always put on the Greek happy mask. Then they can use it to ask for money.
“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,” study co-author Nicholas Schmerr, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Maryland, said in a statement.
Though there is still much to be discovered from the Apollo data, these and other tantalizing findings emphasize the importance of visiting the moon again, Schmerr added.
More Crater Count Woes
Another paper has concluded that the crater-count dating method is flawed, and cannot be corrected by mathematical tricks. Some scientists thought it would be possible to distinguish secondary craters (caused by fallback debris) from primary craters (caused by impacts from outside) using a mathematical relationship between crater diameter and largest boulders around the crater. In Icarus, a team says that the method doesn’t work:
To distinguish secondary craters from primary craters is very important in lunar studies that involve such tasks as dating the lunar surface and investigating the meteoritic flux. However, this is usually difficult since distant secondary craters generally have an appearance similar to primary ones. Bart and Melosh, 2007a, Bart and Melosh, 2007b proposed a method to distinguish the two types of craters based on the relationship between the crater diameter (D) and the size of the largest boulder (B) around the crater: B=KD2/3, where K is the fitting coefficient. They concluded that secondary craters have a 60% larger fitting coefficient (K) than primary craters. However, because of the poor quality of the available data and an insufficient number of crater samples, their results need further substantiation, as they have suggested. This research aims to examine their results with recently obtained very high resolution data and many more sampled craters. Our results indicate that the criterion proposed by Bart and Melosh, 2007a, Bart and Melosh, 2007b is actually not applicable, i.e., the fitted coefficient (K), in cases of primary and secondary craters, cannot be confidently distinguished.
Et tu, Mars?
Leaders of the Mars InSight Mission hope to use the seismometer installed by the lander to learn about geological activity on the red planet. They believe they have already detected their first Marsquake. “The way a quake’s seismic waves travel inside a planet can tell geologists about how rocky bodies are layered,” JPL says. “That, in turn, can deepen our understanding of how Earth, its Moon and Mars first formed” – and, additionally, how old it might be.
Who is always surprised by evidences of youth in the solar system? Evolutionists. Who is not surprised by evidences of youth in the solar system? Creationists. Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin was one of those. His favorite Bible verses were Psalm 121: 1-2, which he quoted on the moon, heard by earthlings in the live broadcasts: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”