Hypervelocity Impact Experiments

How were craters made on planetary surfaces? At Planetary Exploration Research Center of Chiba Institute of Technology, we can investigate the production mechanism of craters using our new projectile launcher placed at our research center. In this demonstration, the launcher accelerates a spherical plastic of 4.6 mm diameter to 7.3 km/s (i.e., 26,000 km/hour) and shoots it onto an aluminum disk. Immediately after this hypervelocity impact, a strong light emission is generated at the impact point, similar to an explosion. Then a strong shockwave propagates into the target turning the aluminum surface outward like a water surface and finally forming a crater within 30-40μs. By this impact cratering process, hypervelocity impacts of celestial bodies have produced various craters on planetary surfaces. At Planetary Exploration Research Center, through our hypervelocity impact experiments, we will be investigating impact craters remaining on planetary surfaces to decode the history of our solar system.

Hypervelocity Impact Experiments
Hypervelocity Impact Experiments
Hypervelocity Impact Experiments
Hypervelocity Impact Experiments