The Moon gets pounded more than expected

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The uncertainty of science: A close review of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images now suggests that asteroid impacts occur 33% more than previously estimated.

The research also suggests that the lunar surface gets rechurned faster than previously thought, which could force planetary scientists to adjust their solar system aging system that is based on crater counts.

The article makes the entirely false claim that this increased rate of impacts poses a threat to lunar colonies, probably in an effort by these scientists to lobby for funds for a combined lunar orbiter-lander mission. The first lunar colonies will likely be placed below ground, partly to protect them from the harsh lunar environment as well as from radiation, and partly because that will be the easiest way to build those colonies. The impacts being measured here are all relatively small, and would not threaten these underground colonies.

One comment

  • Edward

    From the article: “Along with the fresh craters, Speyerer’s team found more than 47,000 ‘splotches’, formed when material gets kicked up by the main impact and rains down — sometimes tens of kilometres away. … The chances of a lunar base being nailed by a direct meteorite hit are relatively small, but the splattered material could pose a hazard.”

    My calculation, assuming an average of 10 kilometer radius for the “splash zone” of impact material “rain,” is that we could expect 4,000 years to pass before any given square kilometer is affected by this “rain.”

    What the ill effects of this “rain” may be is yet another question.

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