brown university

brown university

A 'Protoplanet-Sized' Asteroid Deemed Responsible For Man In Moon's Eye

6d ago
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A new study estimates that the right eye of the ‘Man in the Moon’ was likely created when a massive asteroid around 150 miles across crashed into the lunar body about 3.8 billion years ago. People have long claimed to see a face commonly called “Man in the Moon” in Earth’s lunar body.  While scientists have known that these perceived features were actually created by colliding objects, new research reveals the surprisingly massive size of one of the rocks.  According to a news release from Brown University, the recently published study finds that the crater known as Imbrium Basin, the man’s right eye, was likely created by an asteroid that spanned more than 150 miles across.  It was so big, in fact, that the paper identifies the projectile as a proto-planet.  Whereas previous estimates of a 50-mile-wide diameter had been made using computer models, the team based their conclusions by simulating the crash in a lab.  They used a large gun to launch small metal balls into an aluminum plate at a speed exceeding 13,000 miles per hour.  Based on their tests, the team believes that parts of the asteroid broke off after the primary impact, creating grooves around the crater then launching back into space. This activity is believed to have occurred around 3.8 billion years ago.