THE LATE HEAVY BOMBARDMENT IN THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM: IS THERE ANY CONNECTION TO KUIPER BELT OBJECTS?


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Abstract

Data from lunar samples (Apollo, Luna, and lunar meteorites) indicate that the Moon was subjected to an intense period of bombardment around 3.85 billion year ago (Ga). Here a short review of this topic is given. Different interpretations exist, which either take this as the tail end of an intense but declining accretion period, or which consider a spike in the accretion rate at that time. The latter is the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment. Considering the enormous amount of matter that is required to accrete in the inner solar system at that time, and problems with deriving this mass from the asteroid belt, it is suggested that the Kuiper Belt objects could be a source for this bombardment spike, possibly linked to the late migration of Neptune outwards in the solar system.

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