It’s another super detailed Moon tour! The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team and the folks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center share fascinating information about the rich and violent history of the moon, all in celebration of the LRO’s 1,000th day in orbit:
“The moon’s story begins around 4.5 billion years ago when it formed from molten material generated by a cataclysmic impact on Earth. As this molten mass cooled, it forged the moon’s outer crust, and around 4.3 billion years ago, a colossal impact at the South Pole birthed the South Pole-Aitken basin, reshaping the lunar surface.
“Subsequent massive collisions sculpted the moon’s terrain, giving rise to expansive basins, some of which would later evolve into the dark patches known as Maria. Unlike ordinary craters, these basins transformed into Maria due to the moon’s relatively thin crust and the seepage of molten lava through impact-induced cracks.”