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View Full Version : What do we know about the Tyco impactor on the Moon?



jlhredshift
2008-Nov-14, 04:22 AM
What was the Moon's orientation 108 million years ago?

Can we surmise from what direction the impactor came from and was it gravitationally swung into the Moon by Earths gravity?

How big was it?

Have any meteorites been suspected of being Tyco impact debris?

No agenda, no point to make, just curious.

Hornblower
2008-Nov-14, 12:48 PM
Here are my educated guesses. Don't take them as gospel.


What was the Moon's orientation 108 million years ago?Probably the same as now, tidally locked into synchronous rotation.


Can we surmise from what direction the impactor came from and was it gravitationally swung into the Moon by Earths gravity?I don't think we can estimate the incoming trajectory with any certainty. It may or may not have come close enough to the Earth for any significant deflection of its trajectory.


How big was it?I would guess on the same order of magnitude as the reputed dinosaur killer of 65 million years ago, that is, several km across.


Have any meteorites been suspected of being Tyco impact debris?There are plenty of tektites that are believed to be ejecta from the Moon, but I do not know whether or not they can be dated with any certainty.


No agenda, no point to make, just curious.

jlhredshift
2008-Nov-14, 01:20 PM
Here are my educated guesses. Don't take them as gospel.

Probably the same as now, tidally locked into synchronous rotation.
I don't think we can estimate the incoming trajectory with any certainty. It may or may not have come close enough to the Earth for any significant deflection of its trajectory.
I would guess on the same order of magnitude as the reputed dinosaur killer of 65 million years ago, that is, several km across.
There are plenty of tektites that are believed to be ejecta from the Moon, but I do not know whether or not they can be dated with any certainty.

Thank you. I was afraid of that.

As to the trajectory, can't we rule out some extreme north or south paths to constrain the incoming direction?

From the debris spray, crater depth, and crater width can some constraints be offered for size/velocity?

Just my prejudice about paywalls, but hasn't someone offered a paper on this in Icarus?

phunk
2008-Nov-14, 08:02 PM
While the ejecta pattern could tell you which direction it impacted relative to the surface of the moon, there's no way to know which direction the moon was facing at the time, so it would be hard to tell how the impactor orbited the sun. Also I suspect there would be too wide of a margin of error in the impact direction to estimate how close it passed by earth on the way in to any reasonable degree of accuracy.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-14, 08:40 PM
I think somebody theorized that it could have been part of the same asteroid family as the one that killed the dinosaurs.

jlhredshift
2008-Nov-14, 08:55 PM
I think somebody theorized that it could have been part of the same asteroid family as the one that killed the dinosaurs.

Now thats interesting.

slang
2008-Nov-14, 09:27 PM
Now thats interesting.

Ah, when I read your question I hit Wikipedia's Tycho article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_(crater)), but figured you'd already done that.. but apparently not :)

Bloodtoes
2008-Nov-14, 10:19 PM
What I want to know is if TMA-1 could possibly have been the source of the crater, or if it's more likely that Tycho was chosen as the location for the monolith due to the crater being a likely candidate for exploration. It's a bit frustrating.. 7 years since we discovered this thing, with a failed expedition to Saturn to boot, and we still know very little about it. :-/

dodecahedron
2008-Nov-15, 05:25 AM
What I want to know is if TMA-1 could possibly have been the source of the crater, or if it's more likely that Tycho was chosen as the location for the monolith due to the crater being a likely candidate for exploration. It's a bit frustrating.. 7 years since we discovered this thing, with a failed expedition to Saturn to boot, and we still know very little about it. :-/

Meh, mixing fiction with reality.

Also TMA-1 appears to have been deliberately buried rather than being part of an impact event.

Hornblower
2008-Nov-15, 11:18 AM
I think somebody theorized that it could have been part of the same asteroid family as the one that killed the dinosaurs.

We have no meaningful information on the orbital elements of either one, so any ideas about a relationship are purely speculative, in my opinion.

jlhredshift
2008-Nov-15, 01:48 PM
We have no meaningful information on the orbital elements of either one, so any ideas about a relationship are purely speculative, in my opinion.

It would have to be based on composition to designate "family".

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-15, 02:44 PM
Welcome to the Forum, Bloodtoes!
You might enjoy checking out this thread. (http://www.bautforum.com/small-media-large/65569-considering-lunar-vacation.html)