Peculiar New ‘Double Crater’ On Moon Leaves Scientists Puzzled
There’s a new “double crater” on the moon, but no country is claiming responsibility for the impact.
NASA announced the crater’s discovery last week and detailed how the double crater is the combination of two craters, both roughly 19.5 yards and 17.5 yards in diameter.
The formation on the moon, according to NASA, was an “unexpected” one but is possibly the result of a projectile that had “large masses at each end.”
This, however, may not be the case.
“Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank,” NASA wrote.
The object of unknown origin hit the moon in March, and its impact stands in a league of its own.
NASA said “no other rocket body impacts” on the moon have caused a double crater.
Astronomer Bill Gray, in an interview with Live Science, claimed he was “fairly convinced” that the object was the “spent upper stage” of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 rocket.
Gray predicted the rocket’s debris would hit the moon after he saw it in space in 2015, Live Science reported.
He initially thought the debris was a SpaceX rocket, the news site explained, but later marked it as a rocket launched by China in 2014.
Chinese officials claimed its rocket “burned up” and returned to Earth in 2014, despite the U.S. Department of Defense’s space junk tracking Space Command saying it was still in space in March, Live Science reported.