According to scientists, at least one interstellar collision with the Moon occurred in ancient times. According to statistics and computer modelling, an Earth satellite made of craters should be a good trap for such bodies — some craters may have been formed by objects that passed through the high-speed solar system.
So far, only two potential interstellar celestial bodies have been detected by scientists, Oumumamua and Borisov. In the entire solar system, only a few craters have been found to indicate a collision with such objects, one or two of which may be on the Moon. Scientists believe that when they find craters of relevant origin on the Moon, they can learn more about the composition of such celestial bodies.
Decades of observation of the Moon have made it possible to create fairly detailed Earth satellite maps, which will be very useful for future moon missions that will take place in the near future; however, spectroscopic information on crater composition is almost non-existent — some data may be available from orbit, but it is likely that landing will be necessary to obtain more accurate data.
What astronauts will discover is not yet certain, because both known interstellar objects differ greatly in structure and composition. However, all objects of this type are moving at speeds that are not specific to other celestial bodies in the solar system, it is believed that their speed is not so affected by the gravitational influence of the Sun. Astronomers believe that interstellar objects should have a speed of at least 260,000 km/h and crater characteristics can be determined from these speeds.
Although the human presence on the Moon will be limited in the coming years, it is likely that the moon will be visited by autonomous ships in support of the Artemis mission, which will require a detailed classification of the moon's regolithics and its raw materials will be delivered to Earth through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services programme.
The authors of the study, along with other members of the astronomical community, are still looking for interstellar objects in the solar system, using telescopes from a wide angle of vision, and can soon be accelerated by the commissioning of objects such as Vera C. Rubin Observerry, which is under construction in Chile.
The article was published by members of the American Astronomical Community in The Planetary Science Journal.