Paleocratering of the Moon: Review of post-Apollo data View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

1972-07

AUTHORS

William K. Hartmann

ABSTRACT

As a result of the dating of lunar samples, we are in a position to utilize the lunar surface as a recorder of environmental conditions in the Earth-Moon neighborhood in the past. Plots of crater density vs rock age at different lunar landing sites can be used to date unexplored lunar provinces. These plots also demonstrate evolution in the population of planetesimals that struck the Moon. Prior to 4.1 aeons ago, the cratering rate on the Moon was at least 103 times the present rate, and the rate declined with a half-life less than 8×107 yr. During the interval from 4.1 to 3.2 aeons ago, the number of planetesimals showed an exponential decay with a half-life about 3×108 yr, corresponding to sweep-up of particles from solar orbits somewhat similar to those of Apollo asteroids. A more nearly constant cratering rate applied in the last three aeons. These data indicate that the Moon displays at least the final stages of an ancient accretion process; they also set certain conditions on possible capture processes relating to the Moon's origin. Pre-Apollo expectations that the Moon would provide a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for interpreting solar system history and planet formation thus appear justified. More... »

PAGES

48-64

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf00642541

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00642541

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1025349979


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