Comment on "Constraints on the source of lunar cataclysm impactors" (Cuk et al., 2010, Icarus 207, 590-594)

Renu Malhotra, Robert G. Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cuk et al. (Cuk, M., Gladman, B.J., Stewart, S.T. [2010]. Icarus 207, 590-594) argue that the projectiles bombarding the Moon at the time of the so-called lunar cataclysm could not have been mainbelt asteroids ejected by purely gravitational means, in contradiction with a conclusion that was reached by Strom et al. (Strom, R.G., Malhotra, R., Ito, T., Yoshida, F., Kring, D.A. [2005]. Science 309, 1847-1850). We demonstrate that Cuk et al.'s argument is erroneous because, contrary to their arguments, the lunar highlands do register the cataclysm impacts, lunar class 1 craters do not represent the size distribution of the cataclysm craters, and the crater size distributions on the late-forming basins are quite similar to those of the highlands craters, albeit at a lower number density due to the rapid decline of the impact flux during the cataclysm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-362
Number of pages4
JournalIcarus
Volume216
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

Keywords

  • Asteroids
  • Cratering
  • Moon, Surface
  • Planetary dynamics
  • Planets, Migration
  • Terrestrial planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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