There will be more of them crossing our solar system than before: interstellar objects, originating from other solar systems, may leave traces of their passage on the Moon. Studying their impact craters would certainly be a wealth of information. But you still have to succeed in distinguishing them from others…

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In our solar system, countless asteroids roam, which are the remains of the formation of various planets orbiting the Sun. Many people have also completed their journey on the Moon and have made many craters on its surface. Although AstronomyAstronomy Recently two infiltrators were discovered. ‘Oumuamua in 2017 and Comet 2I/Borisov in 2019 do not appear to be of “local” origin. given name interstellar objectsinterstellar objects », These lone travelers wandering the galaxy for hundreds of millions of years may actually have been expelled from other solar systems.

Crater full of information about unknown solar systems

Many of them will also regularly transit our solar system. While their existence was only hypothetical until a few years ago, scientists believe that up to 70 interstellar objects may visit us annually. So over the past millennia, it is likely that some of them crashed on certain planets, or even on the Moon. Study of these impact craters will certainly provide important collectivelycollectively New information about these interstellar objects and the solar systems from which they originate. Yes, but how can we identify their craters among thousands of other craters of less exotic origin?

Looking for a needle in a haystack?

To try to find them, a team of scientists has set up a method to analyze the lunar surface. It is based on the idea that 95% of lunar craters were formed during the period so-called great late bombinggreat late bombing (GBT), about 4 billion years ago, under the influence of MeteoriteMeteorite From our solar system. Assuming that the flux of interstellar objects remains constant over time, the proportion of craters associated with them will be much higher among the youngest craters, less than 3 billion years old. In this selection, it is necessary to discover the crater associated with a FusionFusion From crustcrust Moon (influence on high vitsevitse) and is located in the equatorial region. According to the authors of the study published in, this method would AAS research notesTo substantially increase the chances of finding an interstellar object crater.

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