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Planetary Group Seminar: Small craters and the age of planetary surfaces - a tale of wishful thinking (R. Bugiolacci)

  • Date: Nov 1, 2017
  • Time: 11:00 - 12:00
  • Speaker: Roberto Bugiolacci
  • Space Science Institute Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST)
  • Location: MPS
  • Room: Auditorium
  • Host: Urs Mall
The age of cratered planetary bodies’ surfaces across the Solar System are estimated by comparing their crater size-frequency distribution against those in the lunar regions neighbouring the locations of returned (and dated) lunar rocks. For a number of reasons, only craters ≥1 km in diameter were considered statistically relevant. However, in the last few decades we have acquired extensive high-spatial resolution imagery of many planetary surfaces leading to the discovery of significant, but geographically small, new geological formations. This has tempted the planetary community to rely on sub-km, even meters-sized craters to derive Absolute Model Ages (AMA) estimations, many controversial. A new targeted study of a nearly 150,000 small craters (5-100 m in size) questions this approach and the validity of its estimations.


 
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