The Moon: An Archive of Small Body Migration in the Solar SystemOPEN ACCESS 

Katherine H. Joy, Ian A. Crawford, Natalie M. Curran, Michael Zolensky,Amy F. Fagan, David A. Kring

Review article

Earth, Moon, and Planets
pp 1–26
First Online:19 October 2016


“The Moon is an archive of impact cratering in the Solar System throughout the past 4.5 billion years. It preserves this record better than larger, more complex planets like the Earth, Mars and Venus, which have largely lost their ancient crusts through geological reprocessing and hydrospheric/atmospheric weathering. Identifying the parent bodies of impactors (i.e. asteroid bodies, comets from the Kuiper belt or the Oort Cloud) provides geochemical and chronological constraints for models of Solar System dynamics, helping to better inform our wider understanding of the evolution of the Solar System and the transfer of small bodies between planets. In this review article, we discuss the evidence for populations of impactors delivered to the Moon at different times in the past. We also propose approaches to the identification and characterisation of meteoritic material on the Moon in the context of future lunar exploration efforts.”