One of the Moon’s biggest impact craters, the Orientale, has a peculiar bull’s eye shape. Scientists have already a chain of deliberations about these rings for decades. And now, they have finally solved its mystery.
According to Space, the scientists looked deeper than merely the lunar surface and instead into the interior surface of the Moon. By the use of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory or GRAIL mission, they were able to look at the subsurface structure with some gathered data about the Moon’s gravity. Hence, they used the said information to model bull’s eye-like basin to determine how the rings were formed.
While this study focused on the Moon, Dr. Katarina Miljkovic, co-author of the paper published on Science, said that the research could also give some deep understanding into what happened to our planet during the Late Heavy Bombardment (of asteroids) and how the peculiar rings around the other craters of the Moon were formed. She added that the Moon and the Earth are fundamentally one system, wherein it can be proven that many of those impacts on the Moon also happened on our planet. Meaning, it also says about the Earth’s evolution.
“We’ve shown how the rings form, not just the rings of Orientale, but the exact mechanism for ring formation on the moon, and in general that should work on any other body as well… GRAIL’s given us not only a high resolution gravity map of Orientale, but also a pretty great gravity map of the entire moon,” Dr. Miljkovic said.
Orientale impact basin is situated on the edge of Moon’s near side that is barely visible from our planet Earth. It is said that the crater formed about 3.8 billion years ago. There are three concentric rings. The largest ring measures almost 580 miles (or 930 km) across.
Photo: YouTube screeshot/SpaceRip
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