Researchers who analyzed data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have found that the Earth's gravitational pull is leading to cracks and faults in the lunar crust of the moon, according to Space.com. The LRO launched in 2009 and has provided high-resolution images of the surface of the moon which show cliffs that were likely created due to the contraction of the interior of the moon.
"We know the close relationship between the Earth and the moon goes back to their origins, but what a surprise [it was] to find the Earth is still helping to shape the moon," said Thomas Watters, lead author of the study.
Although space probes have been used for years, only since the observations of probes such as the LRO have researchers been able to get a clear enough view of the moon's surface patterns to see the effects of the Earth's pull, according to Tech Times.
"Early on in the mission we suspected that tidal forces played a role in the formation of tectonic features, but we just did not have enough coverage to make any conclusive statements," says Mark Robinson, a team scientist from the LRO mission.
The ripples in the lunar crust of the moon could lead to "moonquakes" due to the tidal forces caused by the Earth's gravitational pull, according to Blastr.