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October 31 2012

Man in the moon is unmasked as giant asteroid crater

TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--Scientists say a flattened section of the moon, 3,000 kilometers wide, was likely caused by a collision with an asteroid the size of Austria.

The moon's Procellarum basin, the dark part as seen from Earth, is what remains of the impact crater, they said. Its vast size is apparent in relation to the moon's diameter: 3,476 km. (The basin is likened in Japanese folklore to the shape of a rabbit pounding rice cakes.).

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