Recently, using a combination of observations from the Chinese spacecraft Thuong Nga and artificial intelligence, scientists discovered 109,956 unknown craters.
“This more comprehensive knowledge can help us understand how the solar system works,” said the team led by Dr Chen Yang from Jilin University in China.
There are as many as 109,956 unknown craters on the Moon.
The reason these craters haven’t been identified before is that many craters lack clear lines. Volcanic craters that are partially degraded due to subsequent impacts or volcanic activity can be difficult to detect.
The Thuong Nga 1 and Chang Nga 2 spacecraft provide image recording of the Moon at a spatial resolution of 120 meters and 7 meters, respectively. The polar regions have been neglected and higher resolution images are sure to find more.
The age of the larger craters can be estimated based on observable factors such as the number of smaller impacts that have occurred within them. The authors analyzed pits over 8 km wide in four different ages.
Historically, the Moon’s crater was named after scientists, especially astronomers and astronauts.
This tradition was started by Giovanni Riccioli in the 17th century and is now formalized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). However, it is unlikely that the AIU will seek 100,000 people in honor – most of the craters named today are named after a larger crater nearby and an additional letter.