PIA16841: A Shared Bombardment History

A Shared Bombardment History


Scientists have now discovered that studying meteorites from the giant asteroid Vesta helps them understand the event known as the "lunar cataclysm," when a repositioning of the gas giant planets destabilized a portion of the asteroid belt and triggered a solar-system-wide bombardment. Previously, scientists had only lunar samples to work with. Scientists are now using a class of meteorites connected to Vesta -- known as howardite, eucrite and diogenite meteorites -- to study the lunar cataclysm, providing about three times more samples to analyze.

The left-hand mosaic of the far side of the moon is based on data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. On the right is an image of Vesta from data obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The insets show thin sections of the lunar sample 10069-13 and eucrite NWA1978.

Background Info:

More information about Dawn is online at http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target 4 Vesta
System Asteroid Belt
Target Type Asteroid
Mission Dawn Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Instrument Host Dawn Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Extra Keywords Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-03-25
Date in Caption
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16841
Identifier PIA16841