Historical photographs

Lunar globule Astronomical research

Lunar globule Astronomical research


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When a meteor hits the Moon, the impact energy melts part of the rock that is fired, a fraction of which could be cooled in tiny glass globules. Many of these crystal grains were present in the samples of lunar soil that brought the Apollo missions to Earth.

The photograph shows one of those globules that measures only a quarter of a millimeter in diameter. This globule is particularly interesting because it has been the victim of an even smaller impact. A miniature crater can be seen above to the left, surrounded by a fragmented area produced by the shock waves of the small impact.

Dating many of these impacts, some astronomers estimate that the appearance of craters on our Moon increased approximately 500 million years ago and continues today.

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