First global map of lunar rockfalls
The data from the US lunar probe Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) enabled a comprehensive survey of the lunar surface for typical traces of boulders that had fallen off.
In October 2015, a spectacular rockfall occurred in the Swiss Alps: In the late morning hours, a snow-covered boulder with a size of more than 1,500 cubic meters suddenly broke away from the summit of the 2,758 meter high Mel de la Niva in the canton of Valais. On its way down, it broke into several chunks that continued down the valley. One of the large pieces of debris only came to rest at the foot of the summit next to a mountain hut. He had cut a 1.4-kilometer swath in the forest and meadow.
Enormous events of this kind also occur on other celestial bodies in our solar system: aisles and traces of rockfalls can be found, for example, on Mars and the dwarf planet Ceres − and last but not least on the moon. The first robotic flights to our nearest neighbor in space in the 1960s already captured such traces. During the later Apollo missions, astronauts examined them on site and brought rock samples back to Earth.