The missing large impact craters on Ceres

S. Marchi, A. I. Ermakov, C. A. Raymond, R. R. Fu, D. P. O'Brien, M. T. Bland, E. Ammannito, M. C. De Sanctis, T. Bowling, P. Schenk, J. E C Scully, D. L. Buczkowski, David Williams, H. Hiesinger, C. T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10-15 craters > 400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation from the asteroid Vesta would require at least 6-7 such basins. However, Ceres' surface appears devoid of impact craters > ∼ 280 km. Here, we show a significant depletion of cerean craters down to 100-150 km in diameter. The overall scarcity of recognizable large craters is incompatible with collisional models, even in the case of a late implantation of Ceres in the main belt, a possibility raised by the presence of ammoniated phyllosilicates. Our results indicate that a significant population of large craters has been obliterated, implying that long-wavelength topography viscously relaxed or that Ceres experienced protracted widespread resurfacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12257
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 26 2016

Fingerprint

Minor Planets
Asteroids
craters
Mars
asteroids
Vesta asteroid
depletion
Extrapolation
Topography
protoplanets
Wavelength
Jupiter (planet)
mars
extrapolation
implantation
topography
Population
wavelengths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Marchi, S., Ermakov, A. I., Raymond, C. A., Fu, R. R., O'Brien, D. P., Bland, M. T., ... Russell, C. T. (2016). The missing large impact craters on Ceres. Nature Communications, 7, [12257]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12257

The missing large impact craters on Ceres. / Marchi, S.; Ermakov, A. I.; Raymond, C. A.; Fu, R. R.; O'Brien, D. P.; Bland, M. T.; Ammannito, E.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Bowling, T.; Schenk, P.; Scully, J. E C; Buczkowski, D. L.; Williams, David; Hiesinger, H.; Russell, C. T.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 12257, 26.07.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marchi, S, Ermakov, AI, Raymond, CA, Fu, RR, O'Brien, DP, Bland, MT, Ammannito, E, De Sanctis, MC, Bowling, T, Schenk, P, Scully, JEC, Buczkowski, DL, Williams, D, Hiesinger, H & Russell, CT 2016, 'The missing large impact craters on Ceres', Nature Communications, vol. 7, 12257. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12257
Marchi S, Ermakov AI, Raymond CA, Fu RR, O'Brien DP, Bland MT et al. The missing large impact craters on Ceres. Nature Communications. 2016 Jul 26;7. 12257. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12257
Marchi, S. ; Ermakov, A. I. ; Raymond, C. A. ; Fu, R. R. ; O'Brien, D. P. ; Bland, M. T. ; Ammannito, E. ; De Sanctis, M. C. ; Bowling, T. ; Schenk, P. ; Scully, J. E C ; Buczkowski, D. L. ; Williams, David ; Hiesinger, H. ; Russell, C. T. / The missing large impact craters on Ceres. In: Nature Communications. 2016 ; Vol. 7.
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