Passive Seismic Experiment

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 455-457
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.455


Seismometer operation for 21 days at Tranquillity Base revealed, among strong signals produced by the Apollo 11 lunar module descent stage, a small proportion of probable natural seismic signals. The latter are long-duration, emergent oscillations which lack the discrete phases and coherence of earthquake signals. From similarity with the impact signal of the Apollo 12 ascent stage, they are thought to be produced by meteoroid impacts or shallow moonquakes. This signal character may imply transmission with high Q and intense wave scattering, conditions which are mutually exclusive on earth. Natural background noise is very much smaller than on earth, and lunar tectonism may be very low.

Stay Connected to Science