NASA makes astonishing discovery! Poles on the Moon moved as much as 300 km

NASA has discovered that the poles on the Moon changed with time, the agency revealed in a recently published blog. Here’s what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 20 2022, 18:05 IST
In Pics: NASA set to return to the Moon with the Artemis 1 Mission
1/5 According to NASA, Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The Orion capsule will carry various objects like Snoopy dog toy which will fly as a zero-gravity indicator in the capsule. A new version of Alexa called Callisto created by Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and Cisco will also be aboard the spacecraft. (REUTERS)
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2/5 The Artemis Programme is NASA’s first attempt to send a manned mission to the Moon since the Apollo missions in 1972. Earlier this month, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said, “To all of us that gaze up at the Moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface, folks, we're here. We are going back.” (REUTERS)
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3/5 The rocket and the Orion spacecraft have already been rolled out onto the launchpad on August 16. Although the rollout was scheduled to happen today on August 18, NASA moved up the plans and rolled out the Orion spacecraft on top of NASA’s brand-new Space Launcher System. (REUTERS)
4/5 When NASA launches the Artemis 1 mission using the Space Launcher System on August 29, the Orion spacecraft, although unmanned, will carry 3 manikins called Zohar, Helga and Campos to space as human stand-ins for various tests and studies. They will be retrofitted with a vast number of sensors to conduct tests regarding the spaceflight. (NASA)
5/5 ason Hutt, NASA lead for Orion Crew Systems Integration said, “It’s critical for us to get data from the Artemis I manikin to ensure all of the newly designed systems, coupled with an energy dampening system that the seats are mounted on, integrate together and provide the protection crew members will need in preparation for our first crewed mission on Artemis II.” (NASA)
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Know more about this amazing discovery about the Moon poles made by a NASA team of scientists. (NASA)

Did you know the Moon also has North and South poles, just like the Earth? NASA scientists have recently discovered that not only were the lunar poles were present billions of years ago, but they also moved over time. The Moon has vast craters on its surface from asteroid impacts over millions of years. These craters preserve the history which can help scientists study about the early years of our solar system. In a recent NASA blog, scientists have revealed that the lunar poles have actually moved over time.

A team of scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland conducted an amazing study to find out the lunar conditions billions of years ago. According to the blog, scientists used computer simulations to turn back the clock and remove thousands of craters from the Moon's surface, revealing what the Moon was nearly 4.2 billion years ago. They made an astonishing discovery when they found out that the Moon's North and South Poles moved a little over billions of years. The study has been published in the Planetary Science Journal.

Due to the constant bombardment of asteroids, the Moon moved a little distance over time. As a result, the Moon's poles shifted by a distance of 10 degrees in latitude, which is roughly 300 kilometers, calling it the “wandering” of the poles. Vishnu Viswanathan, NASA Goddard scientist who led the study said in the blog, “Based on the Moon's cratering history, polar wander appears to have been moderate enough for water near the poles to have remained in the shadows and enjoyed stable conditions over billions of years.”

Although a similar attempt to study the lunar conditions by removing craters has been tried before, only large craters were removed and the smaller ones were neglected. However, this team removed thousands of craters, big and small alike, from the lunar surface. Sander Goossens, a Goddard planetary scientist who was also involved in the study said in the NASA blog, “here are a few things that we haven't taken into account yet, but one thing we wanted to point out is those small craters that people have been neglecting, they actually do matter, so that is the main point here.”

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First Published Date: 20 Sep, 18:05 IST