Asteroid impacts MOVED the moon’s north and south pole about 186 miles over 4.25 billion years


Ancient collisions with asteroids have actually shifted the moon’s north and south tips by about 186 miles, scientists revealed in a new study.

A team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland used computer simulations to “erase” thousands of craters from the lunar surface – as if going back in time 4.25 billion years ago, before the craters existed.

Their work led them to discover that asteroid impacts caused the position of the poles to “wander” 10 degrees latitude, or about 186 miles. For comparison, the total diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles.

These wandering poles can teach scientists more about the poles, which are believed to be more valuable regions due to the frozen water discovered there.

Ancient collisions with asteroids have actually shifted the moon's north and south tips by about 186 miles, scientists revealed in a new study

Ancient collisions with asteroids have actually shifted the moon’s north and south tips by about 186 miles, scientists revealed in a new study

A team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland used computer simulations to

A team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland used computer simulations to “erase” thousands of craters from the lunar surface. GRAIL gravity model GRGM1200B (left) and GRGM1200B with 5197 crater gravity anomalies removed (right)

Their work led them to discover that asteroid impacts caused the position of the poles to

Their work led them to discover that asteroid impacts caused the position of the poles to “wander” 10 degrees latitude, or about 186 miles. For comparison, the total diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles

Vishnu Viswanathan, a NASA Godard scientist who led the study, said in a statement, “Based on the moon’s crater history, polar migration appears to have been moderate enough for water near the poles to remain shadowed and stable over billions.” conditions had of years.’

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Asteroid impacts dig up mass and leave indentations in the surface, or pockets of lower mass, but the Moon would reorient itself to bring those pockets toward the poles — while centrifugally bringing areas of higher mass toward the equator.

As NASA notes in a blog post, this is the same force that causes pizza dough to expand when a cook throws it and twists it in the air.

“If you look at the moon with all these craters on it, you can see those in the gravitational field data,” said David Smith, principal investigator for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter. “I thought, ‘Why can’t I just take one of these craters and suck it dry, remove the signature completely?’

Top left: Hammer projection map centered at 270° E showing the uneven distribution of craters 20-150 km in diameter.  Top right: Map of the Moon's gravity anomalies expanded to degrees and order 650

Top left: Hammer projection map centered at 270° E showing the uneven distribution of craters 20-150 km in diameter. Top right: Map of the Moon’s gravity anomalies expanded to degrees and order 650

The study comes as NASA's beleaguered megarocket Artemis 1 (above) is scheduled to undergo a cryogenic test this week and a possible launch attempt - depending on several conditions - during a 70-minute window on September 27, with a backup on September 27. faces October.  2

The study comes as NASA’s beleaguered megarocket Artemis 1 (above) is scheduled to undergo a cryogenic test this week and a possible launch attempt – depending on several conditions – during a 70-minute window on September 27, with a backup on September 27. faces October. 2

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Artemis 3 and China's Chang'e-7 both identify locations near Shackleton, Haworth, and Nobile craters as potential landing zones (circled in red above).  These overlap areas host shadowy craters that can trap water ice

Artemis 3 and China’s Chang’e-7 both identify locations near Shackleton, Haworth, and Nobile craters as potential landing zones (circled in red above). These overlap areas host shadowy craters that can trap water ice

For their study, published in the Planetary Science Journal, Viswanathan, Smith and colleagues worked with about 5,200 craters ranging in size from 12 miles to 746 miles across.

They designed computer models to use the craters’ coordinates and width to locate their gravitational signatures.

Then they ran simulations that removed the gravitational signatures – essentially turning the clock back to 4.25 billion years ago.

The study comes as NASA’s beleaguered Artemis 1 megarocket this week faces a cryogenic test and a possible launch attempt — depending on several conditions — during a 70-minute window on Sept. 27, with a backup on Oct. 2 this Data mismatch, NASA can’t try again until October 17 at the earliest.

Additionally, the space agency recently urged China to be “open and transparent” on its lunar missions after it was revealed the two countries were overlapping on potential landing sites near the south polar region of the lunar surface.

“We will continue to share our plans with the world as much as possible and hope other nations will share their plans with us. We promote transparency and peaceful exploration of outer space in accordance with the principles of the Artemis Convention and the Outer Space Treaty,” the American Space Agency previously told DailyMail.com.

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Artemis 3 and China’s Chang’e-7 both identify sites near Shackleton, Haworth, and Nobile craters as potential landing zones. These overlap areas host shadowy craters that can trap water ice.

“As we explore the Moon, we will adhere to what we set out in the Artemis Accords – that we be transparent about all activities, operate in a safe and responsible manner, and avoid harmful interference,” NASA added.

“There are a few things we haven’t considered yet, but one thing we wanted to point out is these little craters that people have neglected, they actually matter, so that’s the main point here,” said Sander Goossens, a Goddard planetary scientist who participated in the study.

Although researchers studying polar migrations have removed craters from the record, they have only removed a few dozen of the largest impacts.

“People assumed that small craters were negligible,” Viswanathan said. “They are negligible individually, but together they make a big impact.”

“As we explore the Moon, we will adhere to what we set out in the Artemis Accords – that we be transparent about all activities, operate in a safe and responsible manner, and avoid harmful interference,” NASA added



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