Earth and Moon

Lunar surface

Lunar surface

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The Moon is a world full of mountains, craters and other formations. The craters of the lunar surface They were formed by the impact of meteorites.

In general they have a ring shape, a base and a central peak. Its size varies from a few centimeters to 260 kilometers. Central peaks of up to 4000 meters and rings of the same size are known.

The "seas" of the Moon are flat areas of dark color. They are due to the exit of basaltic lava during the period of formation of the Moon. The mountains can be isolated or forming large chains. There are also cracks, with depths of up to 400 meters and several kilometers in length.

How the moon's ground formed

Scientists have studied the age of lunar rocks from regions with craters and have been able to determine when the craters formed. By studying the light-colored areas of the Moon known as plateaus, scientists found that, for approximately 4,600 to 3,800 million years, rock remains fell on the surface of the young Moon and formed craters very quickly. This rain of rocks ceased and since then very few craters have formed.

Some samples of rocks extracted from these large craters, called basins, establish that approximately 3,800 to 3,100 million years ago, several gigantic objects, similar to asteroids, collided with the Moon, just as the rocky rain ceased.

A short time later, abundant lava filled the basins and gave rise to the dark seas. This explains why there are so few craters in the seas and, instead, so many on the plateaus. In these there were no lava flows that erased the original craters, when the surface of the Moon was being bombarded by planetary remains during the formation of the Solar System.

The furthest part of the Moon has only one "mare", which is why scientists believe that this area represents what the Moon was like 4,000 million years ago.

Lunar geography

What we see of the Moon is a combination of craters, mountain ridges, narrow and deep valleys, and level plains or seas. The largest of the seas is the Mare Imbrium (Rain Sea), with approximately 1120 kilometers in diameter.

There are about 20 major seas on the side of the Moon facing the Earth. Among them are the Mare Serenitatis (Sea of ​​Serenity), Mare Crisium (Sea of ​​Crisis) and Mare Nubium (Sea of ​​Clouds). Although they are considered plains, the seas are not completely flat. They are crossed by cliffs, are plagued with craters and are interrupted by cliffs and walls.

The lunar seas are surrounded by large mountains, which were named after Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, according to land ranges. The highest lunar mountain range is Leibniz, with ridges of up to 9,140 meters.

Tens of thousands of craters are scattered across the surface of the Moon, often overlapping each other. There are also over a thousand deep valleys, called lunar fissures, which are 16 to 482 kilometers long and about 3 kilometers or less wide. It is believed that these fissures are grooves on the surface that formed along areas of weakness caused by some type of heat and internal expansion.

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EclipsesThe observation of the moon