The evolution of the Moon, explained in an impressive NASA video of less than 3 minutes: this is how its craters were created
“Why will the moon be, always silver moon, ice cameo, the pale planet, the snow maiden who is portrayed in white, if a painter, or argento, if a poet? ”, wrote the painter and writer from Buenos Aires Marilina Rebora. Although no one beats beauty, the verse, in reality, is limited to only one of the chapters that make up the history of our satellite. And not very extensive, anyway.
Neither the Moon seemed always to be a cameo of ice, nor its surface of silver. On the contrary. There was a time, before poets could sing to him, when his face was incandescent. Throughout its extensive chronicle, the moon has passed through various stages and – precisely so that we do not forget – NASA has elaborated a fascinating video in which he reminds us.
Neither silver face nor icy appearance
The footage produced by the technicians of the US agency, of just 161 seconds, it condenses a good part of the evolution of our satellite, from its inception, around 4,500 million years ago, to its current state. The video starts after the formation of the Moon –episode not showing– probably as a consequence of the colossal impact of the Earth, then embryonic, and a protoplanet the size of Mars and advances with the succession of asteroids that collided with its surface over the years, shaping its appearance.
The montage reflects, for example, the impact, around 4.3 billion years ago, of a meteorite in the South Pole-Aitken basin, where the gigantic Aitken crater is located, 135 kilometers in diameter; or the “bombardment” that the satellite received between approximately 4,100 and 3,800 billion years ago, which left multiple footprints on its surface and shaped its appearance.
Throughout the video it is also appreciated the amazing lava flow through the lunar basins between 3,800 and 1 billion years ago, showing incandescent seas that are far from the silvery patina described by Rébora. As scientists have verified, the history of our satellite was also marked by spectacular and prolonged volcanic eruptions.
If something reflects the montage it is however harassment of the asteroids. The chronicle advances with the intermediate craters generated throughout that long period by the meteorites and how the asteroid has advanced over the last billion years, up to the present day. Two minutes 41 seconds in total of a lunar chronicle that concentrates billions of years.
“From year to year, the moon never seems to change. The craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn’t always look like this. Thanks to NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, now we can see a better part of the history of the moon “, details the agency in its YouTube account. It is not the only gift that the also known as LROC has left us. Throughout its history, the orbiter has mapped the satellite in detail and taken unique images, for example, of Jupiter. His work is key to planning manned missions to the moon, like Artemis, which intends to return to leave human footprints in its crust over the next few years.
Images | POT