The Moon

Understanding Large Basin Development

The Moon is easily our best record of impact cratering in the inner Solar System, even serving as the basis for age-dating of surfaces using impact cratering statistics. Despite this, there remain many mysteries about why impacts generate some of their characteristic features. I use numerical simulations to compare similar basins and tease out what the differences are between them, and what they mean for lunar evolution.

Far Side of the Moon

The Moon hosts impact craters of all sizes, from small simple craters up to large impact basins such as Orientale and the South-Pole Aitken Basin. Because there are so many well-preserved craters on the surface, there are many opportunities to use impact crater modeling to untangle lunar geologic history.

Because of high-resolution data collected by NASA's GRAIL mission, researchers have an understanding of the broad, and in some cases fine-scale, properties of the Moon that have been affected by impact processes. I can use these initial ideas to then vary temperature and composition to begin to understand what the nuances of the lunar crater record can say about overall lunar evolution.

I've presented some of this work at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Please see my abstract below for more information!

Exploring the Peak-Ring to Multiring Basin Transition on the Moon (2019) Bjonnes, E., Johnson, B. C., and Andrews-Hanna, J. C.. In Lunar and Planetary Science L, Abstract # 2026, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston. (Oral Presentation)