Two Young Craters Discovered On Moon

Posted: May 24 2016, 5:05am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Two Young Craters Discovered on Moon
Using data from the LAMP instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists have discovered two geologically young craters in the darkest regions of the Moon’s south pole. One lies within Slater Crater, named for the late Dr. David C. Slater, a former SwRI space scientist who designed and built the LAMP instrument. Albedo map credit: NASA GSFC/SwRI; Topographic map credit: NASA GSFC/ASU Jmoon.

A team of scientists has discovered two geologically young craters -- one 16 million years old and the other between 75-420 million years -- in the Moon's darkest regions.

“These 'young' impact craters are a really exciting discovery," said senior research scientist D. Kathleen Mandt from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Texas.

Finding geologically young craters and honing in on their age helps us understand the collision history in the solar system, she added.

Collisions in space have played an important role in the formation of the solar system, including the formation of the Moon.

Impact craters tell the history of collisions between objects in the solar system.

Because the Moon has been peppered with impacts, its surface serves as a record of its past.

Using a new method, the scientists determined that the areas around the two craters were brighter and rougher than the surrounding landscape.

“Discovering these two craters and a new way to detect young craters in the most mysterious regions of the Moon is particularly exciting," the authors stated in a paper published in the journal Icarus.

This method will be useful not only on the Moon but also on other interesting bodies, including Mercury, the dwarf planet Ceres and the asteroid Vesta.

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