An asteroid or meteor is more likely to hit Earth because Earth is a lot bigger than the Moon, offering a meteoroid more area to hit! But we have the right to check out many thousands of craters on the Moon and we just know of about 180 on Earth! Why is that?

The truth is both the Planet and also the Moon have actually been hit many type of, many type of times throughout their lengthy 4.5 billion year history.

You are watching: Earth possesses few visible craters while the moon possesses many. this is because


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This check out of the Moon"s cratered South Pole was viewed by jiyuushikan.org"s Clementine spacecraft in 1996. Credit: jiyuushikan.org/JPL/USGS


Wbelow did every one of Earth"s craters go?

The main difference between the 2 is that Earth has processes that can erase practically all proof of previous results. The Moon does not. Pretty a lot any tiny dent made on the Moon’s surchallenge is going to stay tbelow.

Three processes help Planet store its surconfront crater free. The initially is dubbed erosion. Planet has weather, water, and plants. These act together to break apart and also wear down the ground. At some point erosion can break a crater dvery own to practically nothing.


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Lake Manicouagan, a ring-shaped lake in Quebec, Canada, is all that continues to be of a crater from a massive influence over 200 million years ago. Credit: jiyuushikan.org/GSFC/LaRC/JPL/MISR Team


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Though they were made in 1971, these Apollo 14 astronauts" tracks were conveniently regarded from a jiyuushikan.org spacecraft in orlittle bit approximately the moon in 2011 (tracks highlighted in yellow). Credit: jiyuushikan.org/LRO


The Moon has actually nearly no erosion bereason it has no environment. That means it has no wind, it has actually no weather, and also it definitely has actually no plants. Althe majority of nopoint deserve to rerelocate marks on its surchallenge when they are made. The dusty footprocedures of astronauts that once walked on the Moon are still there this particular day, and also they aren’t going almost everywhere anytime soon.

The second point is something called tectonics. Tectonics are processes that cause our planet’s surchallenge to develop brand-new rocks, get rid of old rocks, and also shift around over countless years.

Because of tectonics, the surface of Earth is recycled many kind of times throughout its lengthy background. As an outcome, very few rocks on Earth are as old as the rocks on the Moon. The Moon has actually not had tectonics for billions of years. That’s a lot even more time for craters to develop and also continue to be put.

The third thing is volcanism. Volcanic flows have the right to cover up affect craters. This is a major means impact craters get spanned up somewhere else in our solar mechanism, however it is less crucial than the recycling of crust below on Planet. The Moon when had large volcanic flows method in the previous that did cover up many kind of of the bigger earlier results, but it has been without volcanism for roughly 3 billion years.

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A powerless Moon

The Moon may attract fewer bits of room rock than the Earth, however the Moon is powerless to do anypoint around it after it has been hit. Once somepoint hits the Moon, that occasion becomes frozen in time. Earth, on the other hand also, sindicate brushes these affect craters off and also moves on with its life.