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The 2.2 kilometer lunar simple crater Linné [LROC image (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University); color coded shaded relief map (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University); Apollo 15 image (AS15-9348)].

The LPI-JSC Center for Lunar Science and Exploration has prepared a new set of products to help faculty teach the subject of impact cratering.

In the spirit of LPI’s traditional slides sets and image gallery that are used at universities across the country, a series of video simulations of impact cratering processes has been developed for similar classroom use.

This is a great tool if you want to see how the properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) affect crater-forming processes. The videos explore how impactor size and velocity, as well as target gravity and temperature, affect the sizes and morphologies of impact craters. The videos can be run in real time from the web site or, if users prefer, downloaded to their own computers.

Comparisons between the craters produced in the simulations and actual craters on the Moon (e.g., Linné, Armstrong, St. George, Schwarzschild, Schrödinger, Orientale, South Pole-Aitken basin) and Earth (e.g., Chicxulub, Flynn Creek, Steinheim) are provided, with links to additional data associated with those structures.

Impact cratering is a fundamental geologic process that has affected all bodies within the Solar System. Craters on solid planetary surfaces are divided into three groups based on their morphology, which varies as a function of diameter: simple craters, complex craters, and impact basins. The formation process for each crater type is illustrated below using computer models. The effects of a number of impact parameters, including impactor size, surface gravity and target temperature, on the cratering process are also highlighted.

Video Simulations of Impact Cratering Processes can be found at http://www.lpi.usra.edu//exploration/training/resources/impact_cratering/

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: SSERVI Team

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