Solar System

UMBC research analyzes close-up of massive moon crater, a remnant of early solar system

UMBC research analyzes close-up of massive moon crater, a remnant of early solar system

About 3.8 billion years ago, something massive slammed into the face of the moon, leaving behind a crater some 560 miles wide.

On almost any other object in the inner solar system, the crater would have vanished long ago. Plate tectonics on Earth slowly yet continuously wipe away most record of asteroid impacts such as the one that killed the dinosaurs. But a dramatic feature at the edge of the near side of the moon, known as the Orientale basin, remains a well-preserved artifact of the early solar system.

A new analysis by University of Maryland, Baltimore County scientists reveals that the basin is more than just a big hole. Data captured from a 2012 NASA mission shows...

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