10 Updates

The Earth's Gravity Is Pulling So Hard At The Moon, It's Bulging

May 30 2014, 12:12pm CDT | by

Everyone knows that the power of the Moon’s gravity is what moves the oceans’ tides here on Earth, but that’s not all the gravitational tug-of-war between the two celestial bodies is doing. The...

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8 weeks ago

The Earth's Gravity Is Pulling So Hard At The Moon, It's Bulging

May 30 2014, 12:12pm CDT | by

Everyone knows that the power of the Moon’s gravity is what moves the oceans’ tides here on Earth, but that’s not all the gravitational tug-of-war between the two celestial bodies is doing.

The force between the two is so strong that each sphere is ever so slightly pulling the other into a lopsided egg shape that points towards the opposing body. But because the Moon is such a solid body with a small core and only one side of it is facing us at a time, it’s not the easiest thing for scientists to study./>/>

“The deformation of the moon due to Earth’s pull is very challenging to measure, but learning more about it gives us clues about the interior of the moon,” said Erwan Mazarico, a scientist with MIT who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.

To find out more about lunar body tide, researchers have combined data from two NASA missions, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been investigating the Moon since 2009, and the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) satellites, which circled our night-time space rock for a year before impacting on its surface at the end of 2012. Using both missions allowed the scientists to take the entire Moon into account, not just the side that can be seen from down here.

Although the Moon is tough, the force from Earth is still enough to raise a bulge around 20 inches high on the near side of and a similar-sized one on the far side. Those bulges don’t always stay in the same place either. Although the same side of the Moon constantly faces Earth, the tilt and shape of its orbit makes the near side seem to wobble.

null , moving a few inches over time. A few studies have been able to see these subtle changes from Earth, but LRO and GRAIL have given scientists the opportunity to observe the lunar tide from orbit.

LRO used the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) to map the height of features on the surface. By examining the data for locations the orbiter sighted more than once, the researchers could calculate whether the height had risen or fallen, indicating that the bulge was shifting.

GRAIL’s detailed map of the Moon’s gravity field allowed the team to pinpoint exactly how far over the surface LRO was for each measurement to help their calculations.

The researchers were able to confirm that both the estimated size of the tide and the overall stiffness of the Moon were similar to prior observed results – and improve the margin of error.

“This study provides a more direct measurement of the lunar body tide and much more comprehensive coverage than has been achieved before,” said John Keller, LRO project scientist at Goddard.

For more news on forces beyond our ken and other science and tech stuff, follow me on Twitter and Google + .

 
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6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the De ...
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6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat to ...
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6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datu ...
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Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states las ...
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Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensation. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mus ...
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3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving ...
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Update
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7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 201 ...
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Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kide ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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