Guide How the moon got its craters

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If you have a telescope and the lighting is oblique from the side, as is the case when the terminator is nearby , many tiny craterlets can be picked out on its otherwise smooth looking floor.

Can water survive in the moon's deep, dark craters? Maybe not

The crater Grimaldi , at miles across, is over twice the size of Plato and being dark and fairly large, almost resembles a mini-sea close to the western edge of the Moon. Visibility : A pair of binoculars is the minimum requirement to see these features. You only need to use your eyes for this section. You will need to use binoculars for this section.

You will need to use a telescope for this section. Main content. Section 2: Bright and dark craters.

Moon Water

See also. Image gallery: Bright and dark craters Pete Lawrence's Moon guides. Other sections. Section 1: The lunar seas You only need to use your eyes for this section.

Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk

Section 3: Craters in Shadow You will need to use binoculars for this section. Section 4: Majestic mountains You will need to use a telescope for this section. When it rises up, it cools quickly and leaves behind the central peak. The moon also has craters because in its past it had volcanoes, and volcanoes can create craters. The volcano erupts and debris flows out from the erupting point and falls some distance away. In affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support researchers who take a fearless approach to advancing human health in emerging fields such as regenerative biology, metabolism, virology and medical engineering.

Through public programming, we work to inspire scientific curiosity in everyday life.


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This is because there is no air or water on the Moon to erode or blow away the crater edges. Since the Moon has been pounded by impactors and continues to be bombarded by smaller rocks as well as the solar wind and cosmic rays , the surface is also covered by a layer of broken rocks called regolith and a very fine layer of dust.

Section 2: Bright and dark craters

Beneath the surface lies a thick layer of fractured bedrock, which pays testament to the action of impacts over billions of years. It's about 1, miles across 2, kilometers. It's also among the oldest of the Moon's impact basins and formed just a few hundred million years or so after the Moon itself was formed. Scientists suspect that it was created when a slow-moving projectile also called an impactor crashed into the surface. This object was probably several hundred feet across and came in from space at a low angle. Most craters have a pretty characteristic round shape, sometimes surrounded by circular ridges or wrinkles.

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A few have central peaks, and some have debris scattered around them. The shapes can tell scientists about the size and mass of the impactors and the angle of travel they followed as they smashed into the surface. The general story of an impact follows a pretty predictable process. First, the impactor rushes toward the surface.

On a world with an atmosphere, the object is heated by friction with the blanket of air. It starts to glow, and if it's heated enough, it may break apart and send showers of debris to the surface. When impactors strike the surface of a world, that sends a shockwave out from the impact site.

That shock wave breaks up the surface, cracks rock, melts ice, and digs out a huge bowl-shaped cavity.