Space & Astronomy
What made the Man in the Moon's right eye ?
July 23, 2016 | 2 comments
The moon's surface is ripe with pareidolic imagery. Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
Researchers in the US have been able to determine the origins of one of the moon's largest craters.
At 750 miles wide, this prominent lunar feature, which for years has been part of a popular pareidolic image of a face on the moon's surface, is now believed to have originated 3.8 billion years ago when a huge asteroid, which measured in excess of 150 miles across, ploughed in to it.
This object was far larger than scientists had previously believed, so big in fact that it could be classed as a protoplanet - a body with the potential to form in to a fully fledged world.
The collision would have rained debris down on to the Earth and occurred during a particularly violent period of the solar system when large chunks of rock were hurtling around everywhere.
"One implication of this work is that the asteroids may not have been these small chunks flying around - there may have been many more of these very large protoplanets," said lead author Professor Peter Schultz from Brown University.
"It would have been a catastrophic period of time."
Source: BBC News
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