Massive impact on moon rolled it over.

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Massive impact on moon rolled it over.

I thought it was the entrance to the Death Star

An enormous impact basin located near the lunar south pole may have caused the Moon to roll over early in its history, new research suggests.

The biggest, deepest impact crater in the solar system lies near the Moon's south pole. Called the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, it is 2500 kilometres wide and 12 kilometres deep and is thought to have been created about 4 billion years ago.

Francis Nimmo of the University of California in Santa Cruz, US, believes the impact probably occurred near the Moon's equator. That is because the equator lies in the plane of most other objects in the solar system and therefore would more likely be in a hurtling space rock's 'line of fire'.

But he thinks the giant hole destabilised the Moon, so that within 100,000 to 1 million years of forming, the basin – a region of low mass – had rolled over to the south pole. The phenomenon is similar to how spinning bowling balls tend to stabilise with their finger holes – the area of least mass – aligned vertically along the spin axis.

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From [/url=]New Scientist[/url]

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By netchicken: posted on 19-4-2007

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