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Quakes occur on Moon too, reveals analysis

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Similar to Earth, tectonic plate movement also occur on Moon which causes quakes, a study has revealed.

An analysis of pictures taken by Chandrayaan-1 has found that tectonic plates are present inside Moon's surface similar to Earth and cause quakes on colliding which each other.

Professor of Geology & Remote Sensing at School of Environmental sciences in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Saumitra Mukherjee, along with his student Priyadarshini Singh, has analysed the pictures of the surface of Moon taken by the Narrow Angle camera and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera of Chandrayaan-1.

The data collected from south polar region of the Moon reveals that many evidences have been found which establish that tectonic activity occur on the lunar surface, very similar to that on Earth, Prof Mukherjee said.

"Tectonic plates at surface move due to mantle layer of Earth's core and the movement of tectonic plates on Moon establish that some material in liquid form is present under its surface too," he said.

"In this way we can perceptually conclude that Moon also has a core. Then it is also possible the structure of Moon is similar to Earth," the Professor said.

"So comparative study of quakes on Moon and earthquakes could be done," he said.

Currently, there is no way to predict earthquakes. So by studying the tectonic plates' movements and quakes on Moon in the future and comparing them with earthquakes, a step would be taken towards predicting their occurrence, he said.

Ahmedabad based Space Application Centre, an institute of Indian Space Research Organisation, helped them in the study and articles on the analysis have been published in journals like Nature India, Frontiers in Earth Science and IEEE Geoscience and remote sensing letters.

"This finding is 'Make in India' in true sense as the data used in this study is provided by an Indian spacecraft and analysis of this data has also been done by Indian scientists," he said.

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