Who Has the Greater Crater?

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Who Has the Greater Crater?

September 5, 2014

When we look up at our beautiful Moon, we see craters, those big circular dents caused by huge chunks of flying rock smashing into the Moon for billions of years. Well, anyone standing on the Moon looking back at Earth can see impact craters down here, as we’ve been hit by meteors and asteroids just like the Moon. Our craters are just harder to spot, thanks to plants, water, and cloud cover. The biggest is the Vredefort Crater in South Africa. It’s a whopping 186 miles wide (300 km), and possibly up to 2 billion years old. Our 3rd largest crater, Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, may be even more exciting: it’s from the crash that may have caused the dinosaurs to die out 65 million years ago. When that asteroid hit, the explosion was as big as 100 trillion tons of TNT. Other craters exist around the world, some now filled with lakes or beautiful forests. By the way, who has the bigger biggest crater, the Moon or us? Read on to find out!

Wee ones: Which is wider, a 100-mile-wide crater or a 10-mile wide crater?

Little kids: Many craters on the moon are up to 4 billion years old. How much older than the 2-billion-year-old Vredefort Crater are they?  Bonus: The asteroid that probably knocked out the dinosaurs hit 65 million years ago. If it had hit 1 billion years later, how long ago would it have hit?

Big kids: The biggest known crater on the Moon, the South Pole-Aitken Basin, is 1,600 miles wide! while the Moon itself is only about 2,100 miles wide. How much wider is the Moon than its own biggest crater?  Bonus: Our little Vredefort crater is just 186 miles wide. How much wider than our biggest crater is the Moon’s biggest?




Wee ones: The 100-mile crater.

Little kids: Up to 2 billion years older.  Bonus: 64 billion years ago – it’s more recent, so it would be a smaller amount of time since then.

Big kids: 500 miles wider.  Bonus: 1,414 miles wider.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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