Why are there no craters on Earth? Did all the meteorites miss us?
Noting the amount of crators on every clear picture of planets, why does the earth have so few? Were we just lucky, or are we out of the main path of large meteors and the like?
No, we weren't lucky at all. In fact, most astronomers believe that the Earth was once hit by a mars-sized object, an event which created the Moon. In addition to this major hit, the Earth has been struck by just as many meteorites as all the other moons and planets, and would be completely pockmarked with craters if it weren't for one thing: erosion. The Earth has several very efficient erosion mechanisms which wipe away craters and other geological formations at a very rapid rate. Wind, rain, floods, oceans, ice ages, and plate tectonics all serve to constantly recycle the surface of our planet, wiping away most of the evidence you see in abundance on other moons and planets.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 32008 times since September 16, 2002.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 9:44:46 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)