Micrometeorite craters and related features on lunar rock surfaces

  • Hörz F
  • Hartung J
  • Gault D
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Abstract

Craters in the 0.4 mm and larger size class were observed on six Apollo 12 whole rock surfaces (12017, 12021, 12038, 12047, 12051 and 12073). Craters on crystalline surfaces are characterized by a central, glass-lined cavity, a concentric zone of shock fractured, high albedo material and a concentric spallation area. The crater geometries observed are similar to craters produced on glasses and crystalline materials in the laboratory with projectile velocities exceeding 10 km/sec. The high projectile velocities required and the presence of a distinct demarcation line between cratered and uncratered surfaces on individual rocks indicate that most of the microcraters are produced by primary cosmic particles. These discrete impact events account for most of the erosion and fragmentation of lunar surface rocks. © 1971.

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Authors

  • Friedrich Hörz

  • Jack B. Hartung

  • Donald E. Gault

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