Almost every planet and moon in our solar system has impact craters. Even small bodies like asteroids have impact craters.
Impacts can be catastrophic events with disastrous results, such as the impact 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula
that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Though impacts on planets and moons can be devastating, much can be learned from the craters they create. Some of the things we
can learn from impact craters are:
There are very few impact craters on Earth that have not been eroded away by geologic or atmospheric
processes. The Moon is another story. It has no atmosphere and is geologically dead. Because of this, the Moon is an excellent
place to study impact craters.
The Moon was formed approximately 4.6
billion years ago. The currently accepted theory is that an object about the size of Mars slammed into Earth and the Moon
formed from debris that was ripped from the Earth. For a great article about this theory, click here.
Nova's recent production of "Origins" calls this the "Big Whack" theory. To see an animation, click here.
The early formation period of the solar system was a dangerous place. There were constant collisions of bodies, such as
asteroids colliding on the Earth and Moon, and the other planets in the solar system. This era is known as the period of heavy
Geologic processes have occurred on the Moon in the past, such as lava flows which can be seen today as maria. They are the
dark areas seen from Earth, and may look like the "Woman in the Moon," the "Man in the Moon," or a rabbit.
Lava stopped flowing on the Moon approximately 2 billion years ago.
When you have completed this exercise, you will have your own observing book filled with images of lunar craters
named for women. You will also learn the properties of these features. Have fun and good luck!
Check out the Web sites listed above to learn more about maps and
coordinate systems. Be sure to read Planet Trek: Mapping New Worlds.
Print out the puzzle by clicking here. This is a .pdf file and you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this file.
Here is a .jpg file if you are unable to open the .pdf file.
To find the 28 names listed on the right side of the puzzle, use the
coordinates provided at the bottom of the page. A couple of things to keep in mind...N=north; S=south; E=east; W=west.
Also, if the number is 78.1E, for example, the letter will be found in the east column under 70; if the number is
0.3N, it will be found in the 0 row. Columns run from up to down; rows run from left to right.
Example: Using 0.3N, 78.1E. Find the point where 0 latitude
(north/south) and 70 longitude (east in this case) intersect. You will find the first letter of her name is J. With J as your starting point, look up, down,
and diagonally, and forward and backwards, to find her name. (The name is Jenkins.)
Write the name next to the coordinates.
Find the other 27 names in the word find puzzle and write the names next to
Get your favorite highlighter and highlight the first letter of each
Go to the Map-A-Planet Web site by clicking here. Then...