AUG 12, 2019 5:32 PM PDT

What Can the Moon's Craters Tell Us?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The Moon is littered with craters, and each one tells an important story about its past. Some of those craters are large, but others are somewhat small. The Moon’s smallest craters are possible because it lacks a robust atmosphere like the Earth’s, and this allows smaller space rocks to quite easily impact the surface.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is always orbiting the Moon and photographing its impact craters in an effort to learn more about them. By studying these impact craters, we can better explain what those events were like, and more importantly, ascertain how the final product came to be.

In some images, streaks appear along the walls of certain impact craters, designating material that has fallen down into the hole. Other images show long-casted shadows spreading away from the impact point, which speaks to the immense force generated by each impact.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing images is that of the craters residing at the South Pole, which are almost always in the dark due to how Sunlight interacts with the lunar surface. NASA thinks that this crater could contain water ice, and for that reason, it’s a significant area of interest for future programs, such as NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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