The moon has a vast amount of craters on its face. Some of them are aged at billions of years old. The reason for the craters is that the moon has no discernable atmosphere and cannot keep space rocks from reaching the surface by burning them up on descent. There is a constant barrage of galactic objects bombarding the surface of the moon. This constant occurrence causes the top layer of the moon to crater.
Formerly, studies of lunar space rock impacts and craters focused on how the craters were formed and the previous rate of cratering on the surface of the moon. There was not much research revealing the current rate of lunar crater formation. Now, it has been discovered that the current rate is higher than previously thought.
The new information causes concern for future moon landing missions. It is possible that any future astronauts sent to land on the moon could be vulnerable to falling space rocks.
Scientists looked over more than 14,000 before and after images of the moon surface to come to this realization.
"When looking at just a single image, many of the newly formed features are indistinguishable from their surroundings," said Emerson Speyerer, the lead author on the study and a planetary scientist at the Arizona State University at Tempe. "It's only with these detailed comparisons with previous images that we can separate out these small surface changes.