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Watch the moon get pounded by 1 billion years' worth of big asteroids in a 1-minute animation

Watch the moon get pounded by 1 billion years' worth of big asteroids in a 1-minute animation
NASA



Asteroid impacts on Earth are hidden by erosion, but the moon keeps a pristine record of them.




Researchers dated 111 larger craters on the moon to reconstruct Earth's impact history over the past 1 billion years.




The team discovered that larger asteroid strikes were 2.6 times more common in the latter 300 million years of that time period.




An animation illustrates the impact data with light and sound.



The moon has been hiding a big secret about Earth in plain sight.
Evidence of ancient asteroid strikes is difficult to find on our planet. In fact, fewer than 200 craters are known to science. The commonly understood reason for this has been that Earth quickly erodes, buries, and otherwise hides even major impact sites.
The moon, however, acts like a time capsule because it has no air, water, or active geology, so its craters don't vanish. And it happens to be right next door to our planet, which means that whatever happened to the moon reflects what also happened to Earth.
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