Most scientists believe that for the past few billion years the Earth and the moon have been bombarded by meteorites without any breaks. According to new research, it has been even more frequent, by 2 to 3 times, in the past 300 million years.
For the past two to three billion years, most scientists believe that the rate at which the Earth and moon have been bombarded by meteorites did not change. The age of our planet can be better understood with the help of the craters on the moon if we understand their age too because the Earth is said to have received a similar number of such injuries.
The young craters on Earth, which were created 300-600 million years ago, are said to be hard to find because the movement of the Earth’s plates and the erosion helped hide or erase them over the years, which makes scientists’ job even harder. However, since then, a new method has been used by scientists to date the moon’s craters and to determine that the lower bombardment rate is at fault for the rarity of the craters formed 300-600 million years ago. In the past 300 million years the bombardment rate has increased by a factor of two to three.
In order for this idea to be properly tested, scientists compared the crater record of the Earth to the one of the moon’s in an article that was published in the journal Science. The reason that stays behind the scarcity of terrestrial craters that are 300-650 million years old is the lower bombardment rate during that period not, as other scientists think, the preservation bias.
The surface of the moon can be compared to a time capsule because scientists can use it to detangle the history of the Earth. Tens of thousands of craters on the moon can be found on the moon, so scientists need to have an age for every single one of them if they want to see whether the bombardment rate has changed.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca