Relative dating using cratering distribution

01-Nov-2017 06:26

The crater is about 1.2 kilometers (a little more than 0.5 miles) across and 200 meters (650 feet) deep.

Its features, such as the ejecta blanket beyond its rim, are well preserved because of the crater's youth; it has not experienced extensive erosion. The Vredefort impact crater, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Johannesburg, South Africa, was formed just a little over 2 billion years ago.

The large circular dark areas in the image are impact basins, created as huge impactors struck the Moon. Small craters often are simple bowl-shaped depressions.

Lava later flowed across the low floors of the basins, giving them a darker, smoother appearance than the surrounding, brighter highlands. The structure of large craters is more complex because they collapse, forming terraces, central peaks, central pits, or multiple rings.

Approximately 80% of Earth's surface is less than 200 million years old, while over 99% of the Moon's surface is more than 3 billion years old.

Essentially, the Moon's surface has not been modified since early in its history, so most of its craters are still visible. Barringer Crater (Meteor Crater) in Arizona, United States, is a simple crater created when a 50-meter-wide (160-foot-wide) iron-rich meteroid struck Earth's surface about 50,000 years ago — a very recent event to a geologist.

The impactor is shattered into small pieces and may melt or vaporize.

The inner walls of the crater have collapsed to form a series of step-like terraces, and a central peak is visible in the center of the image. The ejecta blanket has lobes, which may indicate wet material was ejected, suggesting that subsurface water or melted ice was mixed into the debris.Smaller planets have less gravitational "pull" than large planets; impactors will strike at lower speeds.

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