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Huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the moon may be relic scar from ancient impact

Date:
October 28, 2012
Source:
Nature Publishing Group
Summary:
The huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the Moon may be a relic scar from an ancient impact event that shaped the lunar surface, reports a new study.

The huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the Moon may be a relic scar from an ancient impact event that shaped the lunar surface, reports a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. Such an impact may explain why the nearside and farside of the Moon are composed of different kinds of rock.

Ryosuke Nakamura and colleagues used data from the Japanese lunar orbiter KAGUYA/SELENE to study the composition of the Moon's surface. They show that a certain type of the mineral pyroxene -- indicative of the melting and excavation of material from the lunar mantle -- is concentrated around large impact craters and the ancient 3,000-km-diameter Procellarum basin. They suggest that the findings point to an impact origin for this basin.

The researchers also conclude that an impact event of this magnitude would have excavated the original crust on the nearside of the Moon, leading to the formation of a new, compositionally distinct, crust within the basin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nature Publishing Group. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryosuke Nakamura, Satoru Yamamoto, Tsuneo Matsunaga, Yoshiaki Ishihara, Tomokatsu Morota, Takahiro Hiroi, Hiroshi Takeda, Yoshiko Ogawa, Yasuhiro Yokota, Naru Hirata, Makiko Ohtake, Kazuto Saiki. Compositional evidence for an impact origin of the Moon’s Procellarum basin. Nature Geoscience, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1614

Cite This Page:

Nature Publishing Group. "Huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the moon may be relic scar from ancient impact." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028160128.htm>.
Nature Publishing Group. (2012, October 28). Huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the moon may be relic scar from ancient impact. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028160128.htm
Nature Publishing Group. "Huge Procellarum basin on the nearside of the moon may be relic scar from ancient impact." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028160128.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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