Friday , January 27 2023

The asteroid rate has increased in the past of the solar system



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Before you can connect all those points, the team has to convince them that the impact of the asteroids has really grown. "There is certainly a change in the impact rate. Or, at least, I would bet a lot of money," said Joshua Bandfield of the Institute of Space Sciences. The friction, he said, is "how precise can you say?"

A monthly capsule

Scientists have already suggested that the surface of our planet has been hit more than usual over the last few hundred million years. Earth's history spans a period of 4.5 billion years, but most impact craters seem to have formed relatively recently. However, geologists have usually created this up to a bias in terms of data: in time, they thought that meteorological or tectonic activity had just removed the footprints of the oldest craters.

But in 2014, Mazrouei's graduate-school counselor, Rebecca Ghent, designed a path around this bias. Since the craters on the Earth suffer tectonic and windy weather, the monthly scars stand there, inert, as the footprint of an astronaut boot. "The moon is a capsule of time," said Mazrouei.

When a knocker strikes in the moon, pushing a crater into the surface, it launches boulders in the air. These boulders then slip the area. Over a billion years, a leakage of small micometeorites that hit the moon will dissolve boulders in soils called regolith. During this process, the ratio of rocks to regolith in a particular crater follows the time from the initial impact.

During the day, both boulders and regolites consume heat. During the night, the boulders maintain this heat, glowing lightly with the thermal radiation for hours. The regolith, on the other hand, cools down quickly, like sand on the beach after sunset. The amount of nighttime glare indicates the relative degree of rotation of a crater, and so the method involves age.

Mazrouei and her colleagues identified 111 monthly craters with diameters of at least 10 kilometers. Then they measured the embarrassment around craters using infrared data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, estimating an age for each. Since about 290 million years ago, their statistical analysis has shown that large impacts have shaken 2.6 times more often than they had in the past 710 million years. This jump occurred around the same time with the largest mass disappearance of the Earth, known as the "Great Dying," when about 90% of all species disappeared. The causes of this disappearance are under discussion.

The team also made a census of 38 large craters on Earth to have a second set of independent records. But they knew it would be hard to prove that it could be credible to record the fragmentary effects of the old effects preserved on the crust of the Earth. "The assumption has always been" oh, that's erosion, "Bottke said." How do you contradict this? "

The team has tried to measure hundreds of millions of years of erosion. Bottke brought Thomas Gernon, a geologist at the University of Southampton in the UK and expert in kimberlite tubes: diamond-rich carrot volcanic structures that extend into many of the same continental surfaces that keep old craters. Conveniently, kimberlites record the erosion that they encounter, which they carry far from above.

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