Determining the Relative Cratering Ages of Regions of Psyche’s SurfaceOPEN ACCESS 

S. Marchi, E. Asphaug, J. F. Bell III, W. F. Bottke, R. Jaumann, R. S. Park, C. A. Polanskey, T. H. Prettyman, D. A. Williams, R. Binzel, R. Oran, B. Weiss & C. T. Russell

Space Science Reviews
Volume 218, Article number: 24, Published: 02 May 2022


“The study of the cratering history of asteroid (16) Psyche is one of the investigations to be performed by the NASA Psyche mission. A dedicated Relative Ages Working Group will carry on these investigations using primarily imaging and topographic data, and complement the interpretation of these data with theoretical models (hydrocodes to simulate impacts) as well as laboratory experiments (impact experiments on relevant target materials). The Psyche Science Team will also rely on experience and lessons learned from prior space missions, such as NASA Dawn and ESA Rosetta.

The main goals of the cratering investigations are to map craters and characterize their morphology across Psyche’s surface over a range of spatial resolutions. These data will then be used to constrain relative and absolute ages of Psyche’s terrains, and impact-related processes will inform other investigations, such as geological mapping, surface composition, and internal structure. Psyche’s cratering data will also be used to perform comparative analyses with similar data from other rocky asteroids. The present chapter provides a pre-launch view of the planned activities and methodologies of the Relative Ages Working Group.”