Impact bombardment of the terrestrial planets and the early history of the Solar System. Fassett, C. I. & Minton, D. A. Nature Geoscience, 6(7):520–524, July, 2013.
Impact bombardment of the terrestrial planets and the early history of the Solar System [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
During the first billion years of Solar System evolution, following planetary accretion, the rate of impact cratering was substantially higher than over the past 3.5 Gyr. However, the causes, magnitude and evolution of the early impact flux remain unknown. In particular, uncertainty persists about whether the largest impact basins on the Moon and the other terrestrial planets formed from a cataclysmic bombardment in a narrow window of time about 3.9 Gyr ago, as initially suggested by the lunar sample collection, or over a more extended period. Recent observations relating to this so-called Late Heavy Bombardment imply that the window of bombardment was not as narrow and intense as originally envisaged. Nevertheless, numerical simulations suggest that the rocky bodies left behind after planetary accretion are insufficient in number to form the youngest large impact basins 4.0 to 3.7 Gyr ago. One viable hypothesis for the formation of these basins is the delivery of impactors to the inner Solar System following the migration of the giant planets, but this scenario also faces challenges. Clarifying the magnitude and length of the Late Heavy Bombardment has implications across the full range of planetary geosciences, from understanding the dynamical evolution of the Solar System to surface conditions on the terrestrial planets early in their history.
@article{fassett_impact_2013,
	title = {Impact bombardment of the terrestrial planets and the early history of the {Solar} {System}},
	volume = {6},
	copyright = {© 2013 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.},
	issn = {1752-0894},
	url = {http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n7/full/ngeo1841.html},
	doi = {10.1038/ngeo1841},
	abstract = {During the first billion years of Solar System evolution, following planetary accretion, the rate of impact cratering was substantially higher than over the past 3.5 Gyr. However, the causes, magnitude and evolution of the early impact flux remain unknown. In particular, uncertainty persists about whether the largest impact basins on the Moon and the other terrestrial planets formed from a cataclysmic bombardment in a narrow window of time about 3.9 Gyr ago, as initially suggested by the lunar sample collection, or over a more extended period. Recent observations relating to this so-called Late Heavy Bombardment imply that the window of bombardment was not as narrow and intense as originally envisaged. Nevertheless, numerical simulations suggest that the rocky bodies left behind after planetary accretion are insufficient in number to form the youngest large impact basins 4.0 to 3.7 Gyr ago. One viable hypothesis for the formation of these basins is the delivery of impactors to the inner Solar System following the migration of the giant planets, but this scenario also faces challenges. Clarifying the magnitude and length of the Late Heavy Bombardment has implications across the full range of planetary geosciences, from understanding the dynamical evolution of the Solar System to surface conditions on the terrestrial planets early in their history.},
	language = {en},
	number = {7},
	urldate = {2017-05-22TZ},
	journal = {Nature Geoscience},
	author = {Fassett, Caleb I. and Minton, David A.},
	month = jul,
	year = {2013},
	keywords = {Astronomy and planetary science},
	pages = {520--524}
}
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