Lori Perkins Lori Perkins


Posted on January 30, 2019 - 12:21 PM CST

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NASA’s Moon Data Sheds Light on Earth’s Asteroid – Jan 17, 2019


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. Thenumber of asteroid impacts to the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago, researchers reported in a January 18 paper in the journal Science.

They could tell by creating the first comprehensive timeline of large craters on the Moon formed in the last billion years by using images and thermal data collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). When the scientists compared those to the timeline of Earth’s craters, they found the two bodies had recorded the same history of asteroid bombardment—one that contradicts theories about Earth’s impact rate.