A Rock goes for a Walk

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What’s so special about a rock rolling across the ground, even on the moon?

One would certainly forgive you for thinking that this solitary boulder on the Moon had recently rolled down a slope, leaving a trail behind it.

The tracks are in almost perfect condition so it appears as though this journey just happened.

However, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is able to zoom in so closely that it is possible to see craters along the route of the 9-meter (29-1/2 feet) boulder, which is thought to have bounced off the rim of the Schiller crater.

With the high resolution capability of the LROC, scientists were able to work out when they believed the journey took place.

It is thought the boulder actually rolled between 50 and 100 million years ago.

Lunar scientist James Ashley said on the LROC website: “Studies suggest that regolith development from micrometeorite impacts will erase tracks like these over time intervals of tens of millions of years.”

“Eventually it’s track will be erased completely”, added Ashley.

It is not known what might have caused the rock to roll but Ashley has suggested the boulder moved because of impact and that this might have been caused by a direct hit from a meteoroid.

 

Attribution: Daily Mail

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