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Solar System Exploration
Mare Moscoviense
Mare Moscoviense (click to enlarge)

Mare Moscoviense

It's clear from looking at pictures of the Moon that the nearside and the farside are very different from a geologic standpoint. The low reflectance, basaltic mare deposits dominate the nearside, whereas the bright deposits of anorthosite thought to be remnants of the Moon's original crust dominate the farside. Mare Moscoviense is one of the few (and also the largest) deposits of mare basalts on the lunar farside.

By exploring and sampling the Moscoviense region, we would date the basalt flows and definitively determine their composition. This sampling would allow us to determine how Moscoviense basalts differ from the nearside basalts sampled during Apollo. Directly determining the age of Moscoviense basalts with laboratory analysis provides important insights into the history of lunar volcanism by determining where the Moscoviense basalts fit in the Moon's volcanic history.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

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Last Updated: 3 Jan 2013