PDA

View Full Version : What is the youngest Crater on the moon?



MatthewE
2003-Dec-24, 02:11 AM
Since recorded time in astronomy, have we ever detected any new craters or metorites hitting the moon? Have we looked at it one day, and noticed a change from the last day? Obviously we can only see 1/2 of the surface, and i am talking about the side that faces us.

Littlemews
2003-Dec-24, 02:20 AM
According to my experience.
Bigger Crater usually is the youngest one on the moon...I mean its hard to tell which one is the youngest, because the smaller, older crater was superimposed by a newer, a bit larger crater.

http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/m-crater.html

Dan Luna
2003-Dec-24, 02:27 PM
I believe there have been one or two claims of impacts being observed leading to new craters, but none have been confirmed by before and after photos. A number of spacecraft have hit the Moon, causing new craters; these have been photographed from orbit and in some cases the shock waves recorded by detectors left by the Apollo missions.

It's usually the case that the smallest craters are the newest, but of course there are some exceptions. The biggest meteoroids were more likely to hit things earlier on in history and most of them have done so (luckily for us). You can investigate for yourself by studying close up Moon photos and looking for overlapping craters. A large number of smaller craters can be seen within bigger craters. Also newer craters have eroded less so they have sharper edges, more obvious debris lying around them, big central peaks and sometimes bright rays. In fact it's very interesting to look at photos and try to work out the order things happened in. I particularly like to study the Lunar Orbiter photos, although you should know there are marks and faults on them due to the way the film was processed in the spacecraft, so don't get all excited thinking you've seen a bridge, railway line or some such. ;)

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/research/lunar_orbiter/

TheThorn
2003-Dec-24, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by MatthewE@Dec 24 2003, 02:11 AM
Since recorded time in astronomy, have we ever detected any new craters or metorites hitting the moon? Have we looked at it one day, and noticed a change from the last day? Obviously we can only see 1/2 of the surface, and i am talking about the side that faces us.
We've seen meteorites hit the moon, and even videotaped it:

Explosions on the Moon (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast30nov_1.htm)

and I know they've looked for a crater that might have been formed, but it would probably be too small to see from here, and I'm not aware that they found anything.

As far as crates go, this is an interesting one:

1953 Lunar Crash (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/lunar_impact_021214.html)

This one is less certain, because it was a visual observation that has some questions around it, but a "fresh" crater of approximately the right size has been found in approximately the right location.