Asteroid impacts on the Moon millions of years ago are consistent with major space rock strikes here on Earth – including the massive impact that wiped out the non-floating dinosaurs.
The discovery reveals that the main influences during prehistoric times on Earth were not isolated events. Instead, these asteroid strikes were accompanied by a series of smaller strikes here and on the moonMore than 9,000 craters left by the impacts of space rocks are scattered on its surface.
The research can help astronomers better understand the dynamics of the subconscious Solar System It helps calculate the probability of our planet being hit by potentially massive space rocks in the future.
Related: The search for an asteroid collision on the Moon is getting hotter with new observatory
Scientists from the Space Science and Technology Center (SSTC) at Curtin University in Australia obtained the results by studying microscopic glass beads inside lunar soil samples returned to Earth. a land by china Chang’e-5 Moon mission in 2020.
These tiny glass beads were created from the intense heat and pressure of meteor strikes. This means that researchers can reconstruct a timeline of the lunar bombardment by evaluating the ages of these beads.
While doing this, the SSTC team found that both timing and frequency asteroid The impacts on the Moon were mirrored by space rock strikes on Earth, which means the timeline the team built could also provide insight into our planet’s evolution.
“We combined a wide range of microscopic analytical techniques, numerical modeling and geological surveys to determine how and when these microscopic glass beads formed from the Moon,” study senior author Alexander Nemchin, professor at SSTC, said in a statement.
The ages of some lunar glass beads indicate that they were created about 66 million years ago, around the time of Asteroid Kill DinosaursThe Chicxulub Impact, known as the Chicxulub Impact, hit land in what is now the Gulf of Mexico, near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The impact led to what is known as the Cretaceous and Paleogene extinction event, which eventually killed three-quarters of life on Earth, including non-floating dinosaurs.
The 6.2-mile-wide (10 kilometer) Chicxulub impactor hit Earth at 12 miles per second (19.3 kilometers per second), or 43,200 miles per hour (69,524 kilometers per hour), leaving an impact crater 93 miles (150 kilometers) wide and 12 miles (19 kilometers) deep. Aside from the shock waves from the initial impact, the asteroid impact caused a series of indirect effects of life, including Throwing thick clouds of dust that obscured the sun.
The new research from SSTC joins other work indicating that these monster dinosaur-killing space rocks may have been joined by other smaller asteroids that also hit Earth and this can be revealed by studying the moon’s history of asteroid impacts.
“The study also found that large impact events on Earth, such as the Chicxulub crater 66 million years ago, can be accompanied by a number of smaller impacts,” Nimchin said. “If true, it suggests that the age and frequency distributions of impacts on the Moon may provide valuable information about impacts on Earth or the inner solar system.”
The team now aims to compare data collected from Chang’e-5 lunar soil samples with other soil samples from the Moon and with the ages of craters across the lunar surface. This analysis can reveal other impact events across the Moon, and thus help reveal signs of asteroid impacts here on Earth that may have affected life.
The research was published on Wednesday (September 28) in the journal science progress.
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