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Moon’s lunar poles have shifted over last 3 billion ...

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  • 1 year ago
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SPACE — A new study suggests that the Moon’s lunar poles have shifted due to the geological activity beneath its crust.

The study suggests that some 3.5 billion years ago, the moon’s internal volcanic activity melted a portion of its mantle, causing it to bubble up toward its surface.

“This giant blob of hot mantle was lighter than cold mantle elsewhere. “This change in mass caused Procellarum—and the whole moon—to move,” Matt Siegler, Planetary scientist at Southern Methodist University, Dallas told Phys.org.

The moon’s axis shifted 5.5 degrees, which is roughly 125 miles. It is roughly the distance from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia.

The shifted axis has also caused the moon to lose much of its ice deposits, as they were exposed to the sun. Such discovery may also contribute to the research of where Earth’s water came from.

“We don't know where the Earth's water came from. It appears to have come from the outer solar system well after the Earth and moon formed. Ice on other bodies, like the moon or Mercury, might give us a clue to its origin,” Siegler said.

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