By analyzing data on lunar craters provided by the Diviner instrument aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists have made a fascinating discovery about the history of impacts on both the Earth and the Moon.
According to the first comprehensive timeline of large craters on the Moon formed in the last billion years created by researchers reporting in a January 18 paper in the journal Science, the number of asteroid impacts to the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago.
The scientists used images and thermal data collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and compared those to the timeline of Earth’s craters, discovering the two bodies had recorded the same history of asteroid bombardment - one that contradicts theories about Earth’s impact rate.
Video Produced & Edited by David Ladd
Visualizations by Ernie Wright
Music Provided by Killer Tracks: “The Starting Squad” - David Corboy & Guido Castillo
Video and featured image courtesy NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center