New Double Crater Found On Moon After Mysterious Rocket Impact
By Jason Hall
June 28, 2022
A double crater was recently found on the moon's surface following a rocket body collision.
New images shared by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has captured images while orbiting the moon since 2009, showed the mysterious new crater caused by the collision on March 4, CNN reports.
The overlapping craters combine to measure at about 91.8 feet wide in the longest dimension, which includes an eastern crater measured at 59 feet across and a wester crater at 52.5 feet.
Astronomers expected some form of impact when the rocket was discovered to be on track to collide with the moon, however, were surprised to find the double crater created by the crash.
The double crater suggests that the object that collided into it had large masses at both ends, which differs from the typical notion that most spent rockets have mass at their motor end.
Astronomers said the rocket's origin is unclear as it was considered junk careening through space for years, but the double crater could help in determining what it was.
The moon's lack of a protective atmosphere has led to numerous objects, commonly asteroids, slamming into its surface and creating visible craters, but the double crater incident was the first known occurrence in which a piece of space junk unintentionally hit the moon's lunar surface, according to experts.