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Name: Anonymous
Status: Student
Grade: 6-8
Location: AZ
Country: United States
Date: October 2006

If the moon and Earth were formed about the same time, why are the mountains on the moon so smooth compared to the mountain peaks of the earth?

Colliding plates and volcanic activity are constantly building new, sharp mountains on earth. The earth is tectonically active.

On the moon, there is none of this activity (the moon is too small) and most of the mountains are very old. There are also old mountain ranges on Earth that are pretty smooth as well. The Appalachian Mountains and Ural Mountains are good examples.

R. Avakian

Actually, there are mountain peaks on the moon that are comparable to those of the Earth. However, you are right in assuming that there is a difference between the histories of the Earth and the Moon. Since the moon does not have any seismic activity (no quakes or volcanoes) and no weathering effects (no wind or surf), the Moon is shaped by asteroid or comet impacts. On Earth, these impacts are not as severe since most asteroids vaporize before they can make impact with the surface. And since the Earth does have volcanic and tectonic activity, mountains are shaped by these geological factors.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius)

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