(ORDO NEWS) — Late last year, astronomers discovered a rocket body headed for the moon. The impact occurred on March 4, and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter later spotted the resulting crater.
Surprisingly, it actually consists of two craters: the eastern one (18 meters in diameter) is superimposed on the western crater (16 meters in diameter).
The double crater was a surprise and may indicate that the rocket body had a lot of mass on both sides. Usually, in a spent rocket, the mass is concentrated at the end of the engine; the rest of the rocket stage consists primarily of an empty fuel tank.
Because the origin of the rocket body remains unclear, the dual nature of the crater may help identify it.
No other impact of the rocket body with the Moon has resulted in the formation of double craters. The four Apollo SIV-B craters were somewhat irregular (Apollos 13, 14, 15, 17) and were significantly larger (more than 35 meters) than each of the twin craters.
The maximum width (29 meters) of the double crater of the body of the mysterious rocket was close to that of the S-IVB.
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