Lunar Crater Counting *
AbstractGet good photographs of the Moon showing lots of craters and count how many craters you find in a range of diameter classes. One useful source is the Consolidated Lunar Atlas (Kuiper et al, 2006). Make a histogram that shows the distribution of diameters. Most of these craters were formed during the first billion years of the Moon's formation, but you should confirm that this is true for the the Moon areas you've selected in your photographs by doing background research. Is cratering uniform across the surface of the Moon? Can you find evidence to support the assumption that the frequency of craters you count for each size range can be related to the cratering time scale for that size range? Perhaps this will be true only in certain areas of the Moon's surface. Perhaps you will find other clues to distinguish ancient craters from more recent ones. But if the assumptions above hold true, the interval between small cratering events is just the number of those craters you count over the whole Moon, divided by 1 billion years. With this information, you could estimate the ages for some of the larger craters you find in which smaller craters are seen inside them (Odenwald, 1997; Wood, C., 2006; Kuiper et al., 2006).
Cite This PageGeneral citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Last edit date: 2018-03-23
- Kuiper, et al. Consolidated Lunar Atlas. available online from the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2006, from http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/cla/.
- Odenwald, S., 1997. "Questions and Answers." Ask the Astronomer, Astronomy Cafe website. Retrieved March 6, 2018, from http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2077.html.
News Feed on This Topic
Ask an ExpertThe Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Ask an Expert
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
AstronomerAstronomers think big! They want to understand the entire universe—the nature of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, galaxies, and everything in between. An astronomer's work can be pure science—gathering and analyzing data from instruments and creating theories about the nature of cosmic objects—or the work can be applied to practical problems in space flight and navigation, or satellite communications. Read more
Cartographer or PhotogrammetristMaps can give us much more information than ways to get from A to B. Maps can give us topographic, climate, and even political information. Cartographers and photogrammetrists collect a vast amount of data, such as aerial data and survey data to produce accurate maps and models. For example, by collecting rainfall data, a cartographer can make an accurate model of how rainfall can affect an area's watershed. The maps and models can then be used by policy makers to make informed decisions. Read more
News Feed on This Topic
Looking for more science fun?
Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.Find an Activity