Astronauts and Jeff Bezos-types hoping to set up shop on the Moon might have another challenge to worry about: moonquakes caused by tectonic activity.
Apollo mission seismometers measured 28 shallow moonquakes between 1969 and 1977 that seemed to lack origin.
Researchers re-calculated the epicentres of these quakes and found that eight of them occurred near small cliffs produced along fault lines.
Combined with evidence of dust and boulders moving near these faults, the researchers conclude that the Moon is tectonically active.
“We’ve got these possibly active faults on the Moon, which means it isn’t this dead body,” Tom Watters, study first author from the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, told Gizmodo.
“It flies in the face of conventional wisdom, that the smaller a rocky body, the quicker it loses interior heat and becomes geologically inactive.”