A crater is a large
An early daguerreotype of the moon, taken by John Adams Whipple and George Phillips Bond with the 15-inch refractor at
DAGUERREOTYPE: MOON, 1852. An early daguerreotype of the moon, taken by John Adams Whipple and George Phillips Bond with the 15-inch refractor at the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge
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A crater is a large, bowl-shaped depression in the ground caused by an impact event such as a meteorite or comet and can range in size from microscopic to hundreds of kilometers across, and are typically found on solid surfaces such as planets, moons, asteroids and comets. The shape of a crater is determined by the size and speed of the impacting object, its angle of approach and other factors. The most common type is formed when an asteroid or comet collides with a planet or moon at high speed. This impact causes shock waves that compress and heat up the surface material which then melts into glassy fragments called tektites that form around the rim of the crater and can also be formed by volcanic activity or erosion over time.