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?


Assigned 6 times


COMMENTS (1)
  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/27/2015 - 10:05 p.m.

    The chances of an asteroid the size of the moon hitting the moon is a very very small chance. This is because there is no asteroid the size of the moon nearby us. The question on the title of the article is more like an open-ended question topic for an essay or a person would think about.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why is the question posed by the headline more sci-fi than hard science?
    Answer: The question posed by the headline of the article is more sci-fi than hard science because it would probably never happen.

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