Transcripts of G2010-102_ShrinkingMoon

[Narrator] A newly published study using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal tantalizing hints that the Moon has slightly shrunk in the recent geologic past and in fact may still be actively shrinking today. The research, lead by Dr. Tom Watters from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum involved searching thousands of lunar images for specific fault structures called “lobate scarps.” [Dr. Watters] We know the moon is shrinking by looking at the lobate scarps in detail. They actually reflect the crustal materials of the moon moon being pushed together, breaking, and being thrust over one another. So that indicates that something has been causing the moon to actually contract, or shrink. [Narrator] Finding that the lobate scarps are globally distributed indicates that contraction of the lunar surface is happening on a global scale and this is critical knowledge to understand the geologic history of the moon. The next steps in this research will be to more accurately assess the age of these scarps scarps to help determine how geologically active the moon might still be today. [Dr. Watters] What’s exciting about these findings for me is that the moon is not a dead body. It’s not an object where everything that happened on the moon happened billions of years ago. These scarps could be younger than a billion years, they could be in fact as young as a couple of hundred million years old, or they could be even younger than that. And that means in geologic terms, the moon is active. [Narrator] To learn more about this story visit the home page for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at [beeping]