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How does the mass of an object affect the size of a crater?

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by

brandon French

on 7 October 2014

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Transcript of How does the mass of an object affect the size of a crater?

How does the mass of an object affect the size of a crater?
By Brandon French
Craters are created on the moon from the impact of meteors, comets, and asteroids. Since there is no erosion on the moon, lunar craters are believed to have lasted for over two billion years
History
The term "crater" was first used by Galileo when looking at the moon through his telescope he created.
Today, we will test three different objects with different mass, to see how mass affects the size of a crater.
Experiment
I will drop these round objects three times a piece into an area of sand that will not be altered, from the same height. Then we will compare the height and diameter of the craters.
Plastic Baseball 3 oz
Soft baseball toy 5 oz.
Apple 8 oz
Comparing all three
Observations
Conclusions
Where do we go from here?
2" width
1/2" depth
2 1/2" width
1/2" depth
2 1/2" width
3/8" depth
3 1/2" width
1" depth
3" width
1" depth
3 1/2" width
1" depth
5 1/2" width
1 1/2" depth
5" width
1 1/2" depth
5" width
1 1/2" depth
Average Width
Average Depth
Apple
Plastic
Baseball
Soft
Baseball
~2.3"
~.45"
~3.3"
1"
~5.17"
1.5"
It seemed that the greater the weight, the greater the width and depth of the affected area.
After looking at the results, it can be concluded that objects that weigh more, and are the same size, will create a larger "crater" when they collide with something.
Therefore, the moon's craters are shaped the way they are, partially, based on the weight of the object that collides with it.
Now, we could test how the diameter of the object affects the size of the creater, when things are the same weight. We could also test how the speed of an object affects the crater size.

What would happen if a large comet were to collide with the moon and create a massive crater? Could it knock it off its orbit around the earth?
Full transcript