Astronomers were able to find new craters on the darkest surface of the moon, paving the way for better understanding of the collision history of the solar system.

More specifically, experts from Southwest Research Institute in Texas discovered two craters that are considered to be young in terms of geological age. The first one is 16 million years old and the other, between 75 to 420 million years old.

"These 'young' impact craters are a really exciting discovery," says senior investigator Dr. Kathleen Mandt.

Key Tool For The Discovery

The main tool that enabled the researchers to come up with the discovery is the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), which is situated at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

LAMP uses ultraviolet-bright stars and other technologies so that experts can see amid the darkness and identify areas on the moon that are permanently shaded.

The team was able to map the base of the big and deep craters proximal to the south pole of the moon. Such areas have posed great challenges to astronomers because sunlight never reaches them directly. Even with little differences in reflectivity measurements provided by LAMP, the tool was able to help astronomers discover the craters and ascertain their ages.

LAMP deputy main researcher Dr. Thomas Greathouse says the team analyzes the geology of planets to comprehend the history of solar system development. Being able to discover the craters and their ages under normal operations is something highly pleasing and exciting.

The Value Of Collisions

Space collisions are highly important in identifying details on the formation of different solar system objects including the moon. Craters signify the extent of objects' experiences, as well as when those events happened. Young craters also provide valuable information about the solar system's history, particularly the frequency of collisions.

The study was published online in the journal Icarus.

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Tags: Moon Crater