There are more than 100,000 craters on the moon

Both the Earth and the Moon have been affected several times during their long history of 4.5 billion years. Once something hits the Moon, that event becomes time-frozen. On the other hand, the Earth removes these impact craters and continues with its life.

That’s why there are so many craters on the Moon compared to Earth! Moreover, their formation and evolution record the history of the inner solar system.

Visual inspection of images and DEM data by experts or automatic detection have identified many lunar craters, and many crater databases have been established accordingly. However, the subjectivity of manual detection and the limitations of automatic detection by different types of data have resulted in significant discrepancies in the number of craters among existing databases.

Chinese scientists have published recent data suggesting more than 100,000 craters on the moon.

The scientists used artificial intelligence to train the deep neural network. With information from the first and second lunar orbiters – Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2, the network identified 109,956 new craters.

The author of the study, Chen Yang of the College of Earth Sciences at Jilin University and the Key Laboratory for Moon and Deep Space Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: “Impact craters (are) the most diagnostic features of the lunar surface. This is in stark contrast to the surface of the Earth. It is very difficult to trace the history of the Earth under the influence of asteroids and comets over the past 4 billion years. “

“The Earth and the Moon have been hit by the same population over time, but large lunar craters have experienced limited degradation over billions of years. Therefore, craters with a lunar impact can track the evolution of the Earth. “

However, there is no water, atmosphere or tectonic plate activity on the Moon Crater. The age of a large crater can also be determined by counting how many small craters are in it.

Mohamad Ali-Dib of the Institute for Exoplanet Research at the University of Montreal said, “This latest study is not the first to apply machine learning to detect lunar craters. In 2018, a team from the University of Toronto Scarborough used laser altimeter data to detect the crater. They identified about 6,000 previously unidentified craters on the Moon. “

“Machine learning can be used to detect craters on the moon. Craters are a window into the dynamic history of the solar system. “

Journal reference:
  1. Yang, C., Zhao, H., Bruzzone, L. et all. Identification of lunar impact craters and age assessment with Chang’E data by in-depth learning and transmission. Nat Commun 11, 6358 (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-20215-y