The heating of the sample occurs incrementally, in what is known as “step heating.” Ideally each argon degassing step should yield the same age, so that when all the individual ages are plotted together on a graph, the age is constant for the entire sample and yields a plateau.
An asteroid smashing into a planet can dramatically alter the planet’s habitability by setting back evolution or even encouraging biodiversity.
The study is important because lunar craters tell us a lot about our satellite, and others like it in the solar system, including its surface age.
The more craters on a surface, the older it is likely to be.
In order to understand how cosmic impacts influence life and the environment, scientists study the craters left behind.
Some of these impact craters come in pairs, most likely caused by binary asteroids.
They have attributed this to “the effect of early-stage jetting” of melted materials formed at the point of impact.