2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Current and original position of the poles
A group of scientists from the United States and Japan have come to the conclusion that the moon's axis of rotation has shifted by almost six degrees over the past three billion years. This is stated in an article published in the journal Nature.
The researchers hypothesized about the wandering of the moon's poles by studying data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Prospector stations on the location of hydrogen-rich areas on the surface of a celestial body. According to the predictions of scientists, the hydrogen detected by orbiting instruments should be concentrated in ice in craters near the north and south poles of the satellite. However, the real data indicated its concentration in other areas, which are almost 200 kilometers away from the model predictions.
The ice should evaporate under direct exposure to sunlight, so scientists considered it possible to use it as a pole shift marker. The researchers concluded that about three billion years ago, the moon's axis began to change its position and this process took place for about a billion years. The most likely reason, scientists considered geological activity in the Ocean of Storms.
Image of the inner structure of the moon. The hottest zones are shown in red, the largest is the Ocean of Storms.
“The moon has a single area, a large basalt plain called the Ocean of Storms, where radioactive elements were concentrated after its formation. This surface area warmed up the mantle below. The large "lump" of hot mantle was lighter than the rest of the colder mantle, which caused the pole shift, "said Matt Siegler, one of the authors of the study.
Scientists have previously suggested that Mars' axis of rotation also changed its tilt angle about 3.7 billion years ago. The authors of the work associated this with the activity of the Kupol Tarsis volcano.