Moon may be shrinking: NASA

The moon is smaller than it used to be and could still be shrinking, NASA scientists have said.

Updated: Aug 20, 2010, 09:01 AM IST

Washington: The moon is smaller than it used to be and could still be shrinking, NASA scientists said Thursday pointing to new evidence that the moon has contracted relatively recently.

New high-resolution images have turned up geographical features on the moon that indicate it has shrunk within the last 800 million years - or practically yesterday in astronomical terms, said Tom Watters, a scientist at the Centre for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian`s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
The findings could indicate that as the moon has cooled since its formation it has contracted and could still be tectonically active today, Watters said.
The images come from NASA`s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been mapping the moon since last summer as part of a two-pronged mission that also involved crashing a rocket into the moon`s surface.

Bureau Report