Geophysics: Chunks off the Moon

The earth and its nearby partner the moon live in an orderly neighborhood; only at vast intervals, millions of years apart, is the area blasted by trouble. Then a giant meteor, perhaps a wanderer from the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, streaks into range. If it happens to hit the earth, it blasts a crater many miles across, sometimes melting nearby rock and spewing out slaglike material called impactite. If it collides with the moon, the crashing meteor produces glassy objects called tektites, which many scientists believe are knocked out of lunar craters, solidified in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!