Small meteors bombarding the surface of the moon have created 33 times more craters than expected
The moon has more craters than even before. A recent count of all the craters has shown it has 33% more craters than expected by experts, according to Newscientist. Craters are the holes we can see with the naked eye on the surface of the moon.
Craters form when meteors fall on the surface of the moon disturbing the dust. Meteors also fall on earth but before they reach the surface the gravity burns them up. However since the moon does not have any gravity or atmosphere, the meteors constantly form craters and impact basins.
Samples from the Apollo missions and studies which observed caters have been successful in determining which caters are new and which ones are old. Scientists have begun to identify new caters on the surface of the already-battered moon.
These new caters have been brought to attention by Emerson Speyerer from the Arizona State University. Speyerer and colleagues compared more than 14,000 before and after pictures of caters on the moon.
The pictures were taken through the years with the help of high-resolution camera upon the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The researchers counted there have been 222 new impact craters on the moon.
The craters are more than 10 meters wide, while the largest new crater is 43 meters. 47,000 new splotches, slight splatter-like changes, were also found on the surface of the moon.
All this data suggests the moon’s surface changes more frequently than scientists had thought before. This means the dust on moon churns every 80,000 years and not every million year as previously believed.
This means future missions or settlements on moon need to keep this in view before embarking on their journey.
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The scientists published their findings online in the journal Nature on October 12.