Dynamic Moon!

alternating images showing lunar plain before and after the appearance of a small impact crater
NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
April 30, 2018
CreditNASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
  • english

Before the launch of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), it was thought that the Moon’s surface did not change much on a human timescale, and that erosional processes took hundreds of thousands or even hundreds of millions of years to significantly alter the surface. Now, the LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) meter-scale images are revealing small surface changes that are transforming the surface much faster than previously thought. From before and after images (temporal pairs) acquired by the NAC, scientists hace identified over 200 impact craters so far that formed during the LRO mission.

This animation of before-and-after images shows a new 39-foot (12-meter) impact crater on the Moon.