Researchers say that humans have disturbed the Moon so much that it has entered a new epoch.
More than a hundred spacecraft have landed on the Moon's surface since the Soviet Union launched Luna 2 in 1959, and leading experts say Earth's natural satellite is now in the "lunar Anthropocene" epoch.
The Earth is thought to have transitioned from the Holocene to the Anthropocene epoch around the time the first nuclear weapon was detonated, leaving an indelible mark on the planet's geology.
The Moon has been in the Copernican Period for the last billion years, which began when volcanic lava stopped flowing. But in a new research paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, anthropologists and geologists from the University of Kansas argue that the lunar missions ushered in a new epoch of human intervention for the Earth's natural satellite.
Also, the researchers called for a new field of academic "space heritage" that would preserve or catalog objects such as rovers, flags, and footprints on the Moon's surface.