The Moon Guide
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U. S. N. O.
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The phase of the Moon right now

Phase
 
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Meandering channels
Lunar rilles and channels are associated with volcanic activity, acting as a transport system for huge volumes of flowing lava. The most famous rille is Hadley Rille, which marks the landing site of Apollo 15. Hadley Rille is a giant channel over 120 kilometres long, up to 1500 metres across and over 300 metres deep in some places. Most other lunar rilles are much smaller, enabling them to support a roof of solidified lava while hotter lava flows through the resulting
Hadley Rille
The Hadley Rille
“tube”. In some areas of the Moon there is evidence for collapsed lava tubes where impact craters have busted through the fragile surface.

Lunar rilles come in various shapes and forms: sinuous rilles, like Hadley Rille, meander in a curved path like a river, arcuate rilles form sweeping arcs on the surface and are generally found on the edges of the lunar maria, and straight rilles follow long linear paths which extend for hundreds of kilometers, and are related to tectonic features where sections of the crust have sunk between two parallel faults.

Magnetic Swirls
These unusual and unexplained patterns of high and low albedo units, with no relief, are the subject of much controversy, with many conflicting ideas of their origin. Reiner Gamma is the infamous near side example, which spans a distance of 70 kilometres to the west of the crater Reiner in Oceanus Procellarum. It is not even certain if these features are associated with a magnetic field, although some scientists believe that the lunar crust was temporarily magnetised at the time of an impact event, “freezing in” the magnetic field. Or perhaps there is something buried underneath the surface producing this surface effect, although that begins to sound a lot like the Monolith featured in 2001: Space Odyssey!

Lunar geology text by Dr Emily Baldwin


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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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