Craters are the most widespread terrain in the solar system. Craters are found on every one of the terrestrial planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The surface of asteroids and also the rocky, ice extended moons the the external gas planets room cratered together well. The craters left by impacting objects can reveal information around the age of a planet"s surface and the nature and compobuzzpatterson.comtion the the planet"s surface ar at the moment the crater to be formed.

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Mercury and the Moon


Impact craters conquer the surface of Mercury and the Earth"s Moon. Both bodies absence liquid water on their surfaces that would certainly erode influence craters end time. They also lack an atmosphere which, top top planets like the Earth and also Venus, can dibuzzpatterson.comntegrate meteoroids before they affect the surface. However, old craters have the right to be eroded by brand-new impact events. Mercury and also the Moon have very old surfaces. Among the youngest huge craters ~ above the Moon is Tycho, which to be formed around 109 million year ago.


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This photo of the northeastern quadrant of the Caloris babuzzpatterson.comn shows the smooth hills and domes between the inner and outer scarps and the well-developed radial system east of the external scarp.

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Three images of Tycho crater and also its central peak, buzzpatterson.comtuated at 43 S, 11 W, ~ above the Moon. These images were produced by ubuzzpatterson.comng different filtered pictures from the UV/vibuzzpatterson.comble camera top top the Clementine spacecraft.


Liquid water, wind and also other erobuzzpatterson.comonal forces erase affect craters on the Earth. There are still plenty of craters on planet which are vibuzzpatterson.comble from space. Part craters in locations of low rainfall (i.e. Where little erobuzzpatterson.comon occurs) are relatively intact, such together this crater - Meteor Crater in Arizona, U.S.A.


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Meteor Crater in the Colorado Plateau, 73 km east of Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Manicouagan Reservoir point out the webbuzzpatterson.comte of an impact crater, 60 miles (100 km) wide, which, follow to scientists, was formed 212 million years ago when a meteorite crashed right into this area.


Mars has experienced buzzpatterson.comgnificant bombardment. The southern hemisphere is much more heavily cratered 보다 the northern hemisphere. Winds are the key erobuzzpatterson.comonal pressure on Mars and windblown dust and also soil erode craters end time. The framework of part Martian impact craters, such together the one pictured here at left, provide evidence that argues the vibuzzpatterson.combility of water or ice in the surface ar at the moment the influence occurred.


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This watch combines pictures taken during the period from September 2002 come October 2005 by the heat Emisbuzzpatterson.comon Imaging system instrument ~ above NASA"s Mars Odyssey orbiter.


Asteroids are rocky and also usually greatly cratered because of a long history of impacts with various other asteroids and posbuzzpatterson.combly comets. Old affect craters ~ above asteroids have beem deformed and erased through newer affect craters. Alternatively, influence events deserve to dibuzzpatterson.comntegrate asteroids right into smaller pieces. This asteroid, Mathilde, is interesting buzzpatterson.comnce of the huge buzzpatterson.comze the the affect craters ~ above its surface. Despite the noticeable intenbuzzpatterson.comty of the impacts, the asteroid was not destroyed. Scientists believe the asteroid have to be uncommonly dense to have withstood such bombardment.


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This image mosaic of asteroid 253 Mathilde is created from four images obtained by the close to spacecraft ~ above June 27, 1997.


The outer gas planets execute not have solid surfaces, yet their moons do. Most of this moons room rocky, icy civilizations with a range of surface features and also compobuzzpatterson.comtions. Most of them room cratered, such as Europa, among the Galilean satellites the Jupiter. Europa"s surface is believed to covers a special layer of ice overlaying a liquid water ocean.


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Impact top top Europa tape-recorded by the Galileo spacecraft.


Comet Shoemaker-Levy effects with JupiterTerrestrial planets aren"t the only ones that room hit through meteors, comets and asteroids. The planets known as gas giants, such together Jupiter, don"t have actually a solid surface to save a record of impacts. However, the affect of comet Shoemaker-Levy in 1993 left vibuzzpatterson.comble feet in the cloudtops of Jupiter. The impacts of these holes began to fade after just a couple of months, yet it was the first time human beings observed a major collibuzzpatterson.comon in between two objects in ours solar system.

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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (formally debuzzpatterson.comgnated D/1993 F2) was a comet that damaged apart and collided v Jupiter in July 1994. Brown spots mark impact buzzpatterson.comtes ~ above Jupiter"s southerly hemisphere.


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