×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Moon May Not Be As Dead As We Thought

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the lunological-activity dept.

Moon 120

rivin2e writes "It would seem our neighbor, the moon, has something hidden below the surface. 'Images collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter hints the moon has probably seen tectonic activity within the last 50 million years.' It would appear from the article that the moon is changing a lot more than we think, even if it doesn't seem like it. I, for one, am still waiting for that big black obelisk to be dug up." From NASA's press release: "A team of researchers analyzing high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) show small, narrow trenches typically much longer than they are wide. This indicates the lunar crust is being pulled apart at these locations. These linear valleys, known as graben, form when the moon's crust stretches, breaks and drops down along two bounding faults. A handful of these graben systems have been found across the lunar surface."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

120 comments

the moon is growing (3, Funny)

mestar (121800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112069)

It is obvious. The moon is growing.

Re:the moon is growing (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112263)

It's not growing--something inside it is ready to burst out. This must be what the Mayans were talking about.

Re:the moon is growing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112461)

It's the First Angel, Adam.
The Second Impact occurs 12 years later than we thought, but it's imminent.

Re:the moon is growing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114167)

Apparently AC's comment could use some explaining...

Adam [evageeks.org]
Second Impact [evageeks.org]

Re:the moon is growing (4, Funny)

fedos (150319) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112609)

It's a mutant space goat. We better get the telephone cleaners and hair dressers loaded onto B Ark.

Re:the moon is growing (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112767)

Well, it was a book of it's time.

I think in the modern world, we of the 99% know exactly who the real drains on society who should be on the B ark are.

Re:the moon is growing (4, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112905)

We need to make sure that when we get there, we have a good infrastructure of lawyers, big media execs and politicians.

Re:the moon is growing (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113039)

Don't forget banking and finance. They definitely need capital markets if they're going to accomplish anything. After all, without the possibility of great monetary reward, there's no way anybody would bother to build a shelter for themselves or gather fruit to eat.

Re:the moon is growing (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113899)

I think the first guys sorted the monetary system by using leaves as currency.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Re:the moon is growing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115061)

you mean people without jobs that instead of looking for jobs or making themselves more employable instead squat on public land in the name of 'protesting' while they have no clear goals or a clue as to how to achieve them?

Re:the moon is growing (2)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39116561)

It's a mutant space goat. We better get the telephone cleaners and hair dressers loaded onto B Ark.

A bit of Douglas Adams humor that's often overlooked is the final sequel to the story: all the people left on the planet, the ones who would've been in the A and C arks, were killed by a disease caught from a dirty telephone, because they'd gotten rid of all their telephone sanitizers. The people on the B ark ended up outliving all the "useful" people, a point that is wilfully missed by most readers who identify with the A and C ark people. I'm pretty sure Douglas Adams knew exactly how this would be read, and enjoyed his double-depth joke all the more for knowing that.

Re:the moon is growing (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112889)

I'm not worried. The last time any Gods showed up, we killed it -- nailed the fucking thing to a cross and let it bleed to death. This was during the Roman Empire when the highest technology was what, a slightly faster chariot? A Galleon with archers on deck?

It's 2012. We've got battleships, satellites, hypersonic jet aircraft, helicopter gunships, atomic weapons, and a grudge deeper than Mariana's Trench.

You want to destroy the Earth? Well, you'll have to get through us first.

Re:the moon is growing (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115553)

Indeed. It used to be that only gods could destroy cities in an instant, and took 40 days to destroy the whole world. Now we can do better. We've leveled up beyond that in the last century.

Oh wait... what if the gods have leveled up too? They seem to have been gone for a while, but perhaps they've just be running a particularly long instance for XP and awesome loot? This could be bad...

Re:the moon is growing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113351)

it's an ocean full of alien life forms.! were all one day going to seas world :the moon!!!
i wonder how they will get a glass space helmet on shamu XXXXVI

Re:the moon is growing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112553)

Does the black moon howl?

#havok (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112077)

#havok lol

Moon... dead? (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112085)

I'm not sure tectonic plate activity really moves a planet over from the 'dead' category to the 'mostly dead' category (also known as 'slightly alive'). Unless of course you just found Thor hanging out there running around banging mountains flat or something.

Perhaps you meant to say "Moon not as geologically stable as we thought." ?

Re:Moon... dead? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112521)

Dead as in inert, inactive like a dead volcano. Not everything we describe as dead was ever alive...

Re:Moon... dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113679)

Especially when we aim for sensationalism. You can defend slashdot, but this is a consistant annoying habbit with them.
Treating readers like morons.

The first two sentences of this article are:

"Moon May Not Be As Dead As We Thought. It would seem our neighbor, the moon, has something hidden below the surface."

This implies something is "living below the surface of the moon".

Get it?

It could have been writen 1000 differnet ways but they choose this approach time and time again. REALLY ANNOYING.

Re:Moon... dead? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115169)

Dead as in inert, inactive like a dead volcano. Not everything we describe as dead was ever alive...

These words, they do not mean what you think they mean. In this context, dead is used as an adjective: and in that context it means no longer living, deprived of life, not endowed with life, inanimate, resembling death, bereft of sensation: numb, etc. There is no definition of "dead" which does not imply it was once alive.

The moon is dead. It has been dead for a very long time. It is bereft of life. Nothing grows on the Moon. Nothing is alive on the moon except the occasional man from Ohio which, for yet unknown reasons, compels people who live there to want to flee the planet. Dead. Dead. Very dead. So very very dead. Dead. In the same way every other celestial body save our own is dead, and even ours is only coated in a very thin coat of life, most of which is busy trying to kill off other forms of life either because it is a biological imperative or because they hear voices, call them God, and then occasionally run for political office.

The. Moon. Is. Dead.

Re:Moon... dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39116731)

Those words, they do not mean what you think they mean. In this context, the meaning of dead is not important. You are correct in your definition of dead. Where are wrong is the meaning of the word alive. Is a mass deemed "alive" because has biological life on it? I think not. In context they are referring to the thermal activity as an indicator of a mass being alive, or in other words active as stated in the GP's comments. By your definition then people are not actually dead for quite some time. Our bodies (aka the mass) have life all over and inside them well after our departure. You are using one definition of alive. Society has more than one and it's context based

Re:Moon... dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115955)

for example: the article title was dead wrong.

Re:Moon... dead? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39116245)

Dead as in inert, inactive like a dead volcano. .

Well, it may not be inert, but it's a long way from being ert. (With apologies to P.G. Wodehouse)

Re:Moon... dead? (2)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112679)

Isn't it just gravity pull from the earth ? Lots of other moons in our solar system has gravity trenches.

Re:Moon... dead? (1)

poly_pusher (1004145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114085)

I'm pretty sure they took that into account. They can even reproduce the effects of the moons gravity on our oceans in simulations. The other moons that contain trenches from the pull of a planets gravity "Titan, Europa" are orbiting Saturn which is 95 times the mass of the earth.

Not that it isn't possible. Our scientific theories keep being revised as we learn more but that's just it. It would be unlikely that it is caused by earths gravity and we should invest our research in other possibilities that seem more likely.

Re:Moon... dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113119)

Where there is warmth there just might be life. Where there is radioactivity there might be life. There is life buried miles below where you are standing digesting rock.

Life finds a way.

Re:Moon... dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113513)

LOL. No there isn't

Re:Moon... dead? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113741)

It's life jim, but not as we know it. What they are saying is that these crinkles are forming as the moon is slowly contracting inwards?

Has any compared visually, high-resolution photographs taken from the 1960's (or whenever photographs were first taken) against photographs now, using something basic like ImageMagick subtract? Just to see what changes have occurred?

Re:Moon... dead? (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114915)

I'm not sure tectonic plate activity really moves a planet over from the 'dead' category to the 'mostly dead' category (also known as 'slightly alive'). Unless of course you just found Thor hanging out there running around banging mountains flat or something.

Perhaps you meant to say "Moon not as geologically stable as we thought." ?

I don't know, can we still try a miracle asteroid with chocolate frosting (to make it go down easier)?

Until proven otherwise (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112107)

I will assume that it is no moon, but is, in fact, a battle station.

Re:Until proven otherwise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112969)

But is it fully armed and operational?

That IS the question.

Don't Breathe This... (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114899)

I will assume that it is no moon, but is, in fact, a battle station.

But is it fully armed and operational? That IS the question.

No, it's not.

"Will It Blend?"... *That* is the question!

Yeah, yeah. (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112115)

We all know this is just marketing for Iron Sky. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yeah, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115131)

Awesome! A sequel to Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Re:Yeah, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115465)

In the bulging, cracking Moon, the Nazis market you!

Major nerd points lost. (1)

sidragon.net (1238654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112117)

I, for one, am still waiting for that big black obelisk to be dug up.

Obelisk [wikipedia.org] ? Really? Not a 1:4:9 rectangular solid?

Re:Major nerd points lost. (2)

Sectoid_Dev (232963) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112223)

I, for one, am still waiting for that big black obelisk to be dug up.

Obelisk [wikipedia.org] ? Really? Not a 1:4:9 rectangular solid?

I believe the word you are looking for is 'monolith'.

Re:Major nerd points lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112277)

I believe the word you are looking for is 'monolith'.

Does the word “monolith” imply any particular shape?

Re:Major nerd points lost. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113077)

Why do you assume the series stops at 1:4:9 ?

Re:Major nerd points lost. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114963)

Why do you assume the series stops at 1:4:9 ?

Does this mean it's 16:9 widescreen in the third and fourth dimensions?

Does the Monolith support 1080p? At any rate, I hear that they're extremely black and non-reflective, so contrast and saturation should be absolutely excellent on them. Plus I hear that these are *very* smart TVs.

They'll still be out-of-date in a couple of years time, though.

Re:Major nerd points lost. (5, Funny)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112229)

Oh sure, hold up the 1:4:9s as the standard of beauty. Anorexic slabs. Its bad enough that they go through purge cycles. Just look at what they did to Jupiter. Now if they maintained a healthy mass...

Re:Major nerd points lost. (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114919)

Oh sure, hold up the 1:4:9s as the standard of beauty. Anorexic slabs. Its bad enough that they go through purge cycles. Just look at what they did to Jupiter. Now if they maintained a healthy mass...

You didn't say that when they discovered Alice Kramden.

Re:Major nerd points lost. (1)

rivin2e (1738784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112545)

As i just replied to someone else, its been a while since i read the book. My mistake.

Re:Major nerd points lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112817)

A FAILURE IS YOU

No volcanos (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112123)

Regardless of the facts concerning the moon's plate tectonics, there's a lot of evidence of how dead it is in the lack of active volcanoes. Earth has 2-5 eruptions each year, the moon has none, as long as we've been observing it. Any active mantle, must therefor be deep below the crust. I've heard it said that tidally locked planetoids elsewhere in the solar system have some high energy earthquakes due to the relative forces on their near and far faces. Perhaps this is like that?

Re:No volcanos (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112355)

Another good point in favor of dead moon is the seismological studies that were done. Supposedly all evidence at that time pointed to a solid body. For example seismic waves reflect off solid/liq transition boundary, you see that on earth, not on moon, so either the entire moon is liquid or the entire moon is solid, and surface studies clearly show its solid, so the inside must also be solid. Plate tectonics are much harder if the whole moon is a solid cold rock.

Probably a good excuse to visit the moon again... drop a permanent base, several geologists with moon buggies and C-4 to run some standard seismic surveys...

Re:No volcanos (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112519)

...the moon has none, as long as we've been observing it.

Don't be so sure [columbia.edu] .

The Moon has shallow (non-tidal) Moonquakes [nasa.gov] . No one knows much about their causes.

No other solar system body (except, of course, for the Earth) has had any seismological data at all. (One of the Viking landers had a working seismometer; it was totally swamped by wind vibrations; at most it may have detected the grand total of one Marsquake, but that's not clear.)

Re:No volcanos (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113869)

Oh, and I can't resist commenting that the fully functional Apollo seismological network was shut off to save $ 200,000 per year, and that Senator Proxmire was proud to be responsible for this saving of government waste.

Re:No volcanos (3, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113229)

Earth has 2-5 eruptions each year

That's off by a factor of ten.

From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] : "Presently there are about 500 active volcanoes in the world – the majority following along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' – and around 50 of these erupt each year.[6] The United States is home to 50 active volcanoes.[7] There are more than 1,500 potentially active volcanoes.[8] An estimated 500 million people live near active volcanoes.[9]"

appolo 18 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112133)

and all these cracks appear right next to where Appolo 18 and the Soviets landed.

Run! (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112139)

It's a Moonquake!

Re:Run! (2)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112633)

You can't run on the moon. If you do, the combination of low gravity and leg power will push you into orbit.

So "Shuffle really really fast man!"

Re:Run! (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114971)

Ooh, you awakened the pedant in me. I doubt you could achieve orbit around the Moon on human power alone.

According to the Wikipedia article on orbital speed [wikipedia.org] orbital velocity for a circular orbit where the orbiting body's mass is small compared to the body being orbited is approximately equal to sqrt(u/a) where u is actually the Greek letter mu and the standard gravitational parameter [wikipedia.org] and a is the length of the semi-major axis which for a circle is the radius. So the SGP for the Moon (from the Wikipedia article) is 4,902.7779 (km^3 sec^-2) and the Moon's mean radius is 1737 km so adding 3 km to clear the mountain peaks would give you sqrt(4903/1740) = an orbital velocity of 2.82 km/sec or 10152 km/hr. That would be pretty difficult to achieve on human power.

Monolith, not Obelisk (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112175)

An obelisk is a tall pointed structure, the monolith in 2001 was not pointed, it was rectangular.

Only mostly dead? (5, Funny)

Galaga88 (148206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112213)

Science Max: It just so happens that your moon here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Moontoya: What's that?

Science Max: Go through its craters and look for loose helium-3.

Re:Only mostly dead? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112899)

Sir, if this post doesn't have a +5 (Inconceivable) rating by the end of the day - you have been robbed.

Re:Only mostly dead? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39116273)

Sir, if this post doesn't have a +5 (Inconceivable) rating by the end of the day - you have been robbed.

As we all know, Slashdot is populated entirely by criminals.

Not dead, just sleeping. Too much wild partying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112221)

Moon May Not Be As Dead As We Thought

Uh-oh! Somebody needs to fix the Moon entry [wikipedia.org] at Wikipedia.

Hyatt hotel chain beware. There's gonna be a shitload of new smashed hotel suites when he finally wakes up again.

So "Being Alive" is defined as what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39112227)

There is nothing in my opinion then the personification of objects. But this type of nonsense of defining life by 'movement' is nearly as foolish. A ripple in water is now 'signs of life'. Give us all a break and actually stop publishing this dribble and sensationalizing what Johnny found in his pocket today articles.

Re:So "Being Alive" is defined as what? (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112395)

Geologically, "live" means active and "dead," or "extinct" means inactive (as in a dead or extinct volcano). This terminology has been used for a long time (decades, if not centuries) and is reasonably expressive.

By the way, electrical engineering has live wires, using the same analogy. Best not to touch them.

actually .... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115189)

"By the way, electrical engineering has live wires, using the same analogy. Best not to touch them."
[SNARK type="Order of the Boondock BrotherHood"]
if you could the next chance you get find a nice thick shiny one take a shoe off and stand on that foot. Next get a good grip on the wire with the opposite hand (so if you are standing on your left foot use your right hand and vise versa).

you are aware that "Live" does not only mean in the biological sense right??

[/SNARK]

Lava Tubes (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112237)

Weren't they saying last year that these were ancient lava tubes that had collapsed?

Re:Lava Tubes (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112413)

But that was before they got a closer look.

When the model changes to accept new data, we call it science.

When the model never changes and rejects all new data, we call it religion and dogma.

Hope this helps.

--
BMO

Re:Lava Tubes (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113113)

So what you're saying is... Science was wrong and will always be wrong!!! Praise Jesus!

Re:Lava Tubes (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113547)

Hawkin's Theory of Progress: "Progress does not consist of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong."

TLP, baby (2)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112333)

The Moon has Transient Lunar Phenomena [columbia.edu] - lights and other features that come and go. These have
been observed enough, over a long enough time, and are correlated enough with recent lunar features to make me think they are real.

So to me, the real questions is, are these LRO features correlated with the TLP locations ?

Tidal forces? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39112375)

Couldn't these formations be caused by Earth's tidal forces instead of tectonic ones?

Re:Tidal forces? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113851)

Tidal forces would cause the moon to squash and stretch, if it rotated, like Earth's oceans. But the moon is gravity locked to facing the Earth.

There are line formations on Earth, I'm curious about this formation in the North Sea?

Google Ocean maps [g.co]

Isn't that kind of how trenches work? (4, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113279)

...small, narrow trenches typically much longer than they are wide.

Well yeah, if they aren't, we just call them "holes".

other factors? (1)

vmerc (931519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113301)

Did they first rule out the earth's gravitational pull as the cause of these small delicately formed features? I am guessing not since it was not mentioned in the article.

Graben (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113339)

Graben is German for ditch.

Why can't we just call it a ditch?

Soon the moon will crack open... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39113543)

...and a thousand thousand dragons will pour forth.

It is known.

Sodium cloud atmosphere (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113849)

Along with the body being active, moon has a active exosphere and surrounded by a sodium cloud bright enough to be seen by the unaided eye if not for the brightness of the moon's surface. This active "atmosphere" will be further investigated by LADEE, Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, spacecraft being built now at NASA Ames and Space Systems Loral (on San Antonio off hwy 101 few miles north of Ames), to be launched next year. LADEE is Small Spacecraft/Big Science. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/ [nasa.gov] And discussion on exosphere at http://lunarscience.nasa.gov/articles/solar-storms-sandblast-moon [nasa.gov]

In other news (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114527)

In the phrase "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

R'lyeh was apparently mistranscribed by Mr Johanssen. Rl'yeh is the southern Pacific. R'lyeh is in fact, the moon.

Maybe it's the oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115755)

Maybe it's the trillions of barrels worth of crude oil sloshing around, just below the surface. A shame we gave up after a few surface samples.

Welcome to my secret Moon-base lair... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39116175)

....Mr. Powers. As you can see, we have been busy with our new supply of red-hot mag-muh. Bwah-ha-ha....
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...