Moon’s Face Doesn’t Tell Whole Story
On a clear night, the moon’s battered history comes into sharp relief: even from 240,000 miles away, its largest craters are so massive as to be visible to the naked eye.
Scientists have long thought that such lunar craters arose during a period called the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), about four billion years ago. During that time, a hailstorm of giant asteroids pummeled the solar system, slamming into the moon, along with young planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. But now scientists from MIT, the Univ. of Paris and elsewhere have found that craters on the near side of the moon may not reflect the intensity of asteroid impacts from that period. Instead, much smaller asteroids likely created these craters — a finding that may redefine scientists’ picture of the LHB.
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