Earth  Planets and Moons  ID: 4708

Moon Sheds Light on Earth's Impact History

Scientists have found a new way to estimate the ages of relatively large, young craters on the Moon using data from the Diviner instrument on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The method has identified over 100 craters younger than one billion years and larger than 10 kilometers across. The ages suggest that the cratering rate has more than doubled over the last 290 million years or so.

The Earth's crater record shows the same pattern. It was thought that some of the older craters were erased by weathering and geological processes, but the new Moon data suggest that the Earth record is a true reflection of the cratering rate — that the Earth has been hit more often in the recent past than it was a few hundred million years ago.

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NASA's Moon Data Sheds Light on Earth's Asteroid Impact History

Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Visualizer
David Ladd (USRA): Producer
Sara Mazrouei (University of Toronto): Scientist
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LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LRO Camera/Natural Color Hapke Normalized WAC Mosaic
LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

DLESE >> Geology
SVS >> Lunar
DLESE >> Mineralogy or petrology
SVS >> Moon
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Rocks/Minerals >> Meteorites
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> Lunar Surface
SVS >> Lunar Topography
SVS >> Impactors
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Craters
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version