Impact Cratering – 28th August 2008

This evening’s main talk on Impact Cratering was given by Dr. Emily Baldwin. She showed us examples of impact craters of various sizes from the microscopic to craters covering a third of a planet. Craters of different sizes show specific features, with the smaller ones having a simple bowl-shaped form, larger ones having a central peak, and the largest having multiple rings and often central lava-levelled plains. She then explained some of the dynamics involved, and the features they produce, and showed us some of the results of practical experiments, some of which involved investigating the effects of water on impact events. She rounded off the talk by telling us a bit about various space missions like Deep Impact and SMART 1 which have caused observed impacts, and showed us film of a prototype “lander”, four of which, it is hoped, will bury themselves in the Lunar regolith by landing a little less than gently. In passing she also mentioned the possibility of rocks from the early Earth having found their way to the Moon as a result of the early period of heavy bombardment the Earth is known to have suffered. If any such rocks could be found on the Moon and returned to Earth, they might reveal details about the Earth’s early history.

Comments are closed.