It is bliss to watch the spots on the moon in a clear sky with twinkling stars. But, have you ever wondered that just like any beautiful thing, the moon does have some flaws. As we think, mon is not at all a plain white surface. It has many depressions, mountains on it. Though we fantasize it a lot, at the end of the day it is just another geographical element just like the earth
What are these depressions?
Lunar craters are bowl-shaped features on the moon’s surface caused by volcanism and cratering. They are formed when asteroids and meteorites, which are nothing but dust and rocky substances in space, hit the moon’s surface. Craters can be as small as a mile long and as big as a sea. There are hundreds of thousands of such craters on the moon. The largest one of all is near the South pole, the Aitkin basin. It is as long as 2,500 kilometers and it is also one of the oldest ones.
Why does the moon have so many craters?
Craters are not confined to the moon; they are found on many astronomical bodies including the earth. But, comparatively the moon has more craters. The earth has many layers of atmosphere protecting it and also maintaining the ideal temperature. When any external bodies enter the earth’s surface, they burn up and could not affect the earth’s surface much. But the moon doesn’t have such a protective atmosphere hence, ends up having many craters and also lack of water and wind on the moon takes a lot of time for these craters to get eroded.
How do you name them?
Just like you and me, lunar craters also have their names. But, unlike us, they do not have the same names for two craters….. Lunar craters are named by an association called International Astronomical Union and then voted upon. Different lunar craters named so far are, The Jackson crater, The Mitra Crater, The Korolev crater, etc.,
-by Krishna Amrutha