from the world's big
The impact might have triggered the Ice Age.
- A new study examined data on lunar craters to gain a better understanding of ancient impact events on Earth.
- Although scientists know of some ancient impacts on Earth, weather and erosion makes it hard to study impacts that occurred beyond 600 million years ago.
- Studying craters on the moon can provide some clues.
Chicxulub impact crater
NASA<p>In a new study published in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17115-6" target="_blank">Nature Communications</a>, a team of researchers examined data collected by Japanese Space Agency's lunar orbiter Kaguya. The team determined that a massive asteroid shower hit the Earth-Moon system about 800 million years ago, when Earth's early multicellular animals were just undergoing their first splits.</p><p>This catastrophic event likely occurred after an asteroid 62 miles in diameter was disrupted and struck both the moon and Earth. The total mass of the shower was far greater than that which created the Chicxulub crater, and it might've triggered the ice age, according to the researchers.</p>
Eight lunar craters that were likely formed simultaneously.
Terada et al.<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"...it is not strange that an asteroid shower 800 million years ago might have triggered the Ice age, because a total mass flux 800 million years ago is 10 -100 times larger than those of Chicxulub impact and/or a meteoroid shower 470 million years ago," Kentaro Terada, lead study author and professor at Osaka University in Japan, told <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/21/world/moon-earth-asteroid-shower-scn/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p><p>By measuring the density of the smaller lunar craters that lie inside bigger ones, the team determined that eight of the moon's 59 craters likely formed at the same time. NASA data supports this hypothesis. In 1969, the Apollo 12 mission collected lunar samples ejected from the 58-mile-wide Copernicus crater. The samples were estimated to be 800 million years old.</p>
Terada et al.<p>Although no complex animals would've been around to witness the impact on Earth, the asteroid shower could've brought elements to Earth that "influenced marine biogeochemical cycles" and caused "severe perturbations to Earth's climate system and the emergence of animals," the authors wrote.</p><p>Catastrophic impacts like these are extremely rare, occurring only once every 100 million years or so. In modern history, the most recent major impact was likely the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event" target="_blank">Tunguska event</a>, which occurred in Eastern Russia in 1908 when a meteor blitzed through the atmosphere and exploded, leveling some 80 million trees over 830 square miles, possibly killing several people.</p>
It could be the most spectacular annular eclipse of the decade.
- An annular eclipse is a type of solar eclipse where the edge of the Sun remains visible around the Moon.
- The June 21 annular eclipse will occur when the Moon is nearly at its apogee, the point in the lunar orbit when the Moon is farthest away from Earth.
- Only some countries will be able to see the eclipse in person, but several organizations plan to livestream the event.
timeanddate.com<p>The annular eclipse may also provide views of the Sun's chromosphere — a pinkish layer of burning hydrogen — and "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baily%27s_beads" target="_blank">Baily's beads</a>," a visual effect of solar eclipses where streams of sunlight travel across the moon's rugged topography. The eclipse will begin at 12:47 a.m. ET and will last several hours, but each specific location on Earth will only be able to see it, weather permitting, for about one minute. </p>
On Friday, the moon will pass through the Earth's outer shadow, known as the penumbra.
- Two lunar events will occur on Friday: a full moon and a penumbral eclipse.
- A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's outer shadow, causing the moon to appear slightly darker.
- The eclipse will only be visible to some countries, but the Virtual Telescope Project is providing a livestream.
Phases of the Moon
NASA<p>But the moon won't appear red or pink from any vantage point — the name "Strawberry Moon" is a Native American reference to strawberry harvest season. Other names for June's full moon include the Flower Moon, <a href="https://theturtleislandnews.com/index.php/2020/06/03/the-strawberry-moon-will-appear-this-week-followed-by-a-rare-annular-solar-eclipse/#:~:text=The%20Strawberry%20Moon%20will%20Appear%20This%20Week%2C%20Followed,a%20Rare%20Annular%20Solar%20Eclipse&text=In%20Europe%20it%20is%20known,mowing%20meads%20(or%20meadows)." target="_blank">Rose moon</a>, Planting moon, and Mead moon.</p>
How to watch the Strawberry moon and penumbral eclipse<p>The eclipse will start at about 1:45 P.M. E.T. on Friday. It will last for about three hours, but the best time to view the moon will be around 3:25 P.M. E.T., according to <a href="https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2020-june-5" target="_blank">timeanddate.com</a>. If you can't view it in person, check out The Virtual Telescope Project's <a href="https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/" target="_blank">livestream</a>.<br></p><p>The <a href="https://earthsky.org/?p=333122" target="_blank">next time a full moon coincides with a penumbral eclipse will be July 4.</a> The first full moon of July is often called the Buck moon, and next month the full-moon eclipse will be visible from North America, though it'll be faint.</p>
New analysis of Apollo 17 sample reveals clues to the Moon's violent history.
- Researchers make new discovery in an Apollo 17 rock from 1972.
- The 4.33-billion-year-old sample reveals clues to the Moon's violent history.
- The Moon was likely bombarded by giant meteorites in its early days.
Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="4H6l2xhL" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="fd2eb2a69a1aed4b82241b02ed13feb5"> <div id="botr_4H6l2xhL_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/4H6l2xhL-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/4H6l2xhL-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/4H6l2xhL-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Apollo 17 commander Eugene A. Cernan stands by the American flag during his second space walk. He was the last man to walk on the Moon on December 12, 1972.
Photo by NASA/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images.
Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? Because they didn't have a space program.
- Space exploration is more than just the ultimate adventure, our study and investigation of space yields great scientific rewards, says astronaut Garrett Reisman.
- Earth is wonderful, but it won't last forever, so it's important that we maintain a big picture view to ensure the survival of the human species.
- Exploring space is our ticket to "the ultimate plan B," according to Reisman. If there were to occur a mass extinction event on Earth, the humans that inhabit another planet in our solar system will be the only hope of human survival.