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This assumes, of course, that the cratering rate has been fairly constant for the last few billion years.
The heavy bombardment of about 3.8 billion years ago must be taken into account when using the crater age dating technique.
The craters on all of the moons except Io, Mercury, and most of the ones on Mars are from impacts.
The kinetic energy of the impacting meteorite or asteroid is converted into heat, sound, and mechanical energy---the projectile explodes on impact.
Select the photographs to display the original source in another window.
There are still small chunks of rock orbiting the Sun left over from the formation of the solar system.
If you know how frequently craters of a given size are created on a planet or moon, you can just count up the number of craters per unit area.
Volcanism is any eruption of molten lava onto the surface.