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Revealed the source of the largest crater of the Moon

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brown University in the United States, have discovered the origin of Oriental, the largest crater on the Moon formed 3,800 years ago and with a diameter of 930 kilometers, according to published Thursday magazine Science.

The discovery, the result of two studies reported in two articles, was possible thanks to the data collected in 2012 satellites Interior Laboratory mission and Gravity Recovery (GRAIL, in English) of NASA.

According to the study geologist Brandon Johnson, Brown University, the asteroid that created the crater Oriental struck 15 kilometers per hour on the Moon and was 64 kilometers in diameter.

That impact created a crater dimensions (between 320 and 460 kilometers in diameter) that do not match the current as it collapsed under the rock fractures and temperatures forming three concentric rings visible today.

"Large impacts such as that formed East were the main drivers of change in planetary crusts in the solar system. Thanks to the amazing data provided by GRAIL, they understand better how these basins formed, and we can use that knowledge to other planets and moons" Johnson said.

Oriental is located in the extreme southwest of the Moon, on the edge of its visible face, and is a model study of cratering.

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