The Moon Guide
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The phase of the Moon right now

Phase
 
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< What is the Moon made of? 
Lunar boot on surface
Footprint in the regolith

Lunar gardening


A finely grained dust-like material – the regolith – coats the entire lunar surface and extends to a depth of a few metres. At greater depths it grades into blockier rocky fragments. Regolith forms from the continual bombardment of micrometeorites and the action of solar radiation, which ‘gardens’ the surface, continually turning it over so that the top few centimetres are always well mixed.  Would you sink into it? We know from the Apollo astronauts’ experiences of walking around on the Moon that they only sank in a few centimetres, a bit like walking on heavily compacted snow! The fine-grained nature of the surface regolith meant that the astronauts were shaking regolith out of their boots, suits, and pretty much everything, all the way back to Earth.

A smashing time on the Moon
Mare Orientale
The huge Mare Orientale basin
The Moon’s early life was dominated by a period of intense bombardment of asteroids and comets impacting the surface at speeds of several hundred thousand kilometres per hour. In fact, impact events still occur every day on the Moon because there is no atmosphere to protect the surface from even the tiniest of impacts. The scars from these impacts are recorded on the lunar surface as roughly circular features ranging in size from less than 1 millimetre to diameters of thousands of kilometres. At the upper end of the scale are the giant basins, which often have multiple concentric rings formed outside of the main crater rim, rather like ripples in a pond that have become frozen into place, and some which are infilled with smooth, dark expanses of volcanic basalt, making up the lunar maria.


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Lunar geologist

Lunar geology

Moon rocks on Earth

Moon quakes

How the Moon was formed

Geology of the Moon's features

What is the Moon made of?

Lunar gardening

About impacts

Ray craters

Ageing wrinkles

Meandering channels

 
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