What would happen if a big asteroid hit the moon?
What would happen if a big asteroid hit the moon? (Smithsonian.com / ThinkStock)
What would happen if a big asteroid hit the moon?
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You asked us, what would happen if a large asteroid hit the moon.

Thousands of meteorites have impacted the moon over the last few billion years. And without an atmosphere like we have here on Earth to break up and burn these hurtling objects, the rocks have left their mark.

So what would it take to leave behind more than just a crater?

Well, an asteroid the size and mass of the moon itself would probably just destroy it. Or nudge it out of its current orbit around the Earth. And cause drastic changes to our tides.

But honestly, all this talk is more sci-fi than hard science.

As far as we know, no asteroids even close to the size of the moon exist nearby. So it is highly unlikely that any of this would ever happen.

Which is not to say the story wouldn't make big bucks at the box office.

For more stories like this, check us out every day at smithsonian.com.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is the question posed by the headline more sci-fi than hard science?


Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/what-would-happen-if-big-asteroid-hit-moon/

Assigned 74 times


COMMENTS (87)
  • 09Garrett-May
    5/20/2015 - 10:57 a.m.

    The moon would become an asteroid itself.

  • 18Beau-May
    5/20/2015 - 11:01 a.m.

    I honestly thin its more sci-fi than science. It would be scary to be in one but there's only about .000000001 percent chance of getting it.

  • 17Blake-May
    5/20/2015 - 11:02 a.m.

    This is more si fi then any hard science and it said in the text that there will never have an asteroid that is the size of the moon and even if there was it would probably knock it out of place or just nudge it out of orbit and that will not end the world like most people think but it will just affect sun up and sun down it will change the time you wake up and the time you go to bed lots of people think that this involves science well it doesn't people think that the science behind this is that the moon wont have enough power to hold its own towards the earth and still people think that it cant hold its own orbit around the earth and they think that it will be knocked out of place and the earth will come to an end but it will never happen because the world does not just end it blows up!

  • calebc-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 11:06 a.m.

    This question posed by the headline as more sci-fi than hard science. The text states, "As far as we know, no asteroids even close to the size of the moon exist nearby. So it is highly unlikely that any of this would ever happen." The text also states, "An asteroid the size and mass of the moon itself would probably just destroy it. Or nudge it out of its current orbit around the Earth. And cause drastic changes to our tides." The evidence from the text explains the reasons of the question of the posed headline as more sci-fi than hard science.

  • NathanWOrange
    5/20/2015 - 12:02 p.m.

    I think that the question is more sci-fi than hard science because there are no nearby asteroids that size around our moon. But I do agree that could be a good movie!

  • AlexisB-Kut
    5/20/2015 - 12:39 p.m.

    i think this is very important to understand lots off people dont understand that one day something like this could happen and most people dont care at all

  • EmilyK-2
    5/20/2015 - 03:27 p.m.

    This article is about the possibility of a big asteroid hitting the moon and how it would affect it. An asteroid would have to be close to the size of the moon or bigger in order to destroy or take the moon out of its current orbit with Earth. However, this is highly unlikely to happen because there are no asteroids that are even close to the size of the moon near it. I think it is really interesting that there is even a slim chance of the moon being destroyed because it would completely change the space around the moon and especially Earth, which would affect us.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    5/20/2015 - 08:23 p.m.

    I think that it is cool for asteroids to impact the moon a lot but I'm glad that the asteroids didn't just break the moon apart into pieces, it just created a crater on the moon where the asteroid had hit on the moon didn't just change the tides. Well if asteroids had been hitting the moon a lot, I think that a gigantic asteroid is going to easily destroy the moon which it wouldn't control the tides on earth.

  • ConnerC-Kut
    5/21/2015 - 07:44 a.m.

    If an asteroid actually destroyed the moon, I'm more worried about what would happen to Earth. I don't know myself, but I've heard other people talk about waves in the ocean stopping if that happened. But I'm guessing myself that the effects could be catastrophic. If that happened, I would hide somewhere until people say its safe.

  • PreciousG-Kut
    5/21/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    i think this is very important to understand this stuff cause maybe one day it could really happen and nobody will no what is happening

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