The Ancient Asteroid That Made The Moon Craters

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Scientists have figured out why one hemisphere of the moon has so many more holes than the other: a big asteroid impact almost 4 billion years ago wrecked devastation in the moon’s mantle.

The distribution of craters on the lunar surface isn’t random. Farther from Earth than the viewable nearside of the lunar surface, which is tidally bound (– this means it would take the same work for the moon to spin and circle Us), there is a far greater density of craters.

Unlike the far side of the moon, which is blanketed in lunar maria, the side opposite has fewer holes due to the terrain is bathed in large areas of solid lava. Lava fields may have concealed holes that would have otherwise characterized the moon’s nearside.” The craters from the far surface of the moon are still observable because there are no lunar maria there.

In the aftermath of a huge collision 4.3 billion years ago, experts have recently believed that the lunar maria originated. The South Pole–Aitken valley (SPA) was formed as a result of this impact, and it is the biggest hole on the lunar surface and the second biggest known impact crater in the planetary system, with a maximum thickness of roughly 1,600 miles as well as a depth of 5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers).

New computer models show that the SPA hit would have generated a heat wave in the subsurface that drove radioactive materials toward the crust. This new research confirms this. There are several different ways the impact might have occurred, including direct strikes and glancing blows, but researchers discovered that the subsurface hits would have only harmed the moon’s nearside independent of how the asteroids struck.

Several of the moon’s impact craters were buried in lava when one giant asteroid smashed onto the lunar surface.

The findings were published in Science Advances.