Results from the apollo-12 passive seismic experiment

Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)


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The objective of the passive seismic experiment is to measure vibrations of the lunar surface produced by all natural and artificial sources of seismic energy and to use these data to deduce the internal structure and composition of the moon, the nature of forces which may cause deformation of the moon and moonquakes, and the numbers and masses of meteoroids striking the lunar surface. The ALSEP* seismometers can magnify lunar surface vibrations 10 million times. No instrument can operate on earth with this sensitivity, because weather and man produce too much seismic noise. To obtain answers to the above questions, seismic data must be combined with data from laboratory measurements of the physical and chemical properties of surface rocks, and many other geophyiscal and geochemical measurements. Thus far, we have had the opportunity to record data from two lunar seismic stations which were installed by the astronauts during Apollo misions  and 12. The combined recording time from the stations is presently over 12 months, but there was no overlap to permit recording of the same event at two stations. 

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Results from the apollo-12 passive seismic experiment
Series title Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)
Volume 3
Issue 1
Year Published 1971
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Description 6 p.
First page 4
Last page 9
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N