Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

Random Scarps Reveal the Moon is Shrinking


Thousands of small lobate fault scarps are found just about everywhere in the lunar highlands, and are formed when contractional forces break the crust and thrust blocks upward. Here a lobate scarp cuts across and deforms a large impact crater (about 5 km in diameter). The vast, global array of such young fault scarps is evidence that the Moon is shrinking as it liquid core freezes to a solid and the interior cools thus taking up less space. These faults are not ancient, they are very young – so young the Moon is likely slowly shrinking today.

Lat: 74.506°
Long: 147.043°
Camera: NAC
Image Width: 4.3 km
Location in exhibit: Major Discoveries
Image ID: M156626383LR

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