New research confirms that many more asteroids have collided with the Moon than previously thought.
Leading researcher associate professor Katharina Milkovic said that craters on the moon could look very different if they had formed when the moon was just forming and was still hot. Large impact craters formed during the solidification of magma over four billion years ago. These are different types of craters that can be used to track the history of the moon.
The Young Moon formed from a global ocean of magma that had been cooling for millions of years. Therefore, when asteroids and other bodies crashed into the softer surface of the satellite, then no serious imprints remained on it. Because of this, it is difficult to obtain information about that early period.
The timing of the solidification of lunar magma is not specifically determined, but presumably it was a long period of time, during which several large asteroid bombings took place at once. As the Moon ages and the surface cools, the collision marks become more visible during soundings.
The authors of the new work compared several approaches to the history of the Moon and the modeling of various asteroid bombings. As a result, they found out that the Moon may lack evidence of the earliest collisions with asteroids.
Despite this, the authors were able to restore information about this period: it turned out that the Moon had undergone a real bombardment from asteroids.
The authors of the new work believe that studying the history of the early Moon will help to understand how the Earth was formed and developed.