Man in the Moon: Caused by a Giant Asteroid?

Does this explain the age-old phenomenon?

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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There's no shortage of explanations as to why some people believe they can see a human face among the Moon's craters. A team of Japanese researchers, however, believe it has discovered how the Procellarum basin—the dark part that looks like a face—came to be.

A group of scientists from Tskukuba's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology recently did a study where they analyzed minerals that have been distributed across the moon along with light reflection data gathered from the Kaguya moon mission in 2007. The scientists found an element known as pryoxene that they believe was formed after the impact of a largee asteroid hit the moon nearly 3.9 billion years ago.

The scientists believe the asteroid that hit the Moon all those years ago was 186 miles in diameter (nearly the size of two Staten Islands). The impact from an asteroid of that size would have left a sizable amount of damage, and caused the craters that form the Procellarum basin. However, due to smaller asteroids striking the moon after the big collision, it's difficult to be sure of the true cause of the basin. 

So there's still hope for all you conspiracy theorists and tall-tale tellers. 

[The Ashai Shimbun via CinemaBlend]

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