Constraining the Impact History of the Moon with Lunar Impact Glasses

Orientale basin
Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Lunar impact glasses are formed when the Moon’s crust melts during an impact event and subsequently quenches as a glass. The observed spectrum of impact glass ages helps to constrain the impact bombardment history of the Moon. These impact glasses can also reveal new insights about the Moon’s geochemistry, including at locations not directly sampled by the Apollo or Luna missions. Recently, Nicolle Zellner presented an extensive summary of past and current studies focused on lunar impact glasses including samples collected from the Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 regoliths. Zellner discusses paths forward including how lunar impact glass analysis can provide a foundation for future studies of impact glasses collected from other planetary bodies. READ MORE