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Author Topic: Why is the Moon so packed with craters when the planets aren't?  (Read 452 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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I am baffled!   Why is the Moon totally pockmarked with wall-to-wall asteroid hits while
the planets seem virtually unscathed?
Is there something about the Moon that attracts constant asteroid hits?
Or is there some other reason that I can't think of?
"I live in hope"

Offline Duffield1

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Re: Why is the Moon so packed with craters when the planets aren't?
« Reply #1 on: 20 December, 2019, 07:59:06 PM »
I think it is all about atmosphere, and the fact that the moon doesn't have an atmosphere - so any bits of debris from comets or other space dust will hit the planet's surface at high enough force to cause craters, whereas most burn up before hitting our green and fertile land here on Earth.

Other planets are often large enough to have atmospheres of some description, so they are similarly protected.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Why is the Moon so packed with craters when the planets aren't?
« Reply #2 on: 21 December, 2019, 10:36:08 AM »
I think it is all about atmosphere, and the fact that the moon doesn't have an atmosphere - so any bits of debris from comets or other space dust will hit the planet's surface at high enough force to cause craters, whereas most burn up before hitting our green and fertile land here on Earth.

Other planets are often large enough to have atmospheres of some description, so they are similarly protected.

Thank you Duff.  All about atmospheres, eh?  That's smart.  Very smart.
Which is probably why I didn't think of it.
So, if what you say is true, then all the other moons out there will be similarly pocked all over?  I shall have to look into that.  Anyone got NASA's phone number?
"I live in hope"

Offline Duffield1

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Re: Why is the Moon so packed with craters when the planets aren't?
« Reply #3 on: 07 January, 2020, 02:13:47 PM »
Not necessarily - some moons will be large enough to sustain their own atmosphere.  Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, for example has a thin atmosphere (not sufficient to support human life, but an atmosphere none-the-less).