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The Shrinking Moon, Plate Tectonics, and Density - Kesler Science Weekly Phenomenon and Graph

Did you know the moon is (sloooowly) shrinking?

There's a great tie-in with earthquakes and tectonic plates here. Unlike Earth with its many plates, the moon has only one continuous plate. When Earth's tectonic plates shift and move, energy can be released in smaller ways. Earthquakes, volcanoes, subduction, mountain formation, sea floor spreading - they're all part of the balancing act. 

On the moon, the whole crust can only fold up into ridges when the core cools and contracts (think of the way an apricot forms ridges as it dries out and you'll get the idea 😂). The result of this rearrangement? Moonquakes that can last for HOURS. Can you imagine if earthquakes lasted that long??

Comparing the two spheres and their quakes might help your students understand the connection between earthquakes, energy, and tectonic plate movement.

For another connection, check out the two images below. On the first one, you can ask your students, which of the graphs represents the mass, volume, and density of the Moon as it shrinks, and why? The second image has the big reveal!


Spoiler below!


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