Asteroid Day Expert Panel Q&A

If the Chelyabinsk asteroid had hit the moon, what size crater would it have created?

336 views February 16, 2015 adexpertpanel 3

QUESTION FROM KARIM

If this same [Chelyabinsk] asteroid had hit the moon, what size crater would it have created?

 

ANSWER BY MARK BOSLOUGH (ADXP)

Great question!

Using our best estimate of the speed and size of the Chelyabinsk asteroid, it would have made a crater on the moon of 300 or 400 hundred meters (about 1000 to 1300 feet) in diameter. If there were moon people with cities like ours, the crater would completely remove 7 to 12 of their city blocks.

The crater size would also depend on whether it hit the moon in a place where the lunar regolith (the dusty soil layer) was thick or thin.  There’s a great online tool by cratering expert Keith Holsapple that you can use to try out different asteroid sizes and speeds for yourself!  See (clickhere to open the link).

Mark Boslough

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