Mare Moscoviense

This is an oblique image of the lunar farside. It shows the impact basin that holds Mare Moscoviense. Like Mare Marginis, this mare appears to be fairly thin. However, it is clearly centered within a large impact basin. It is also much lower than either the outer basin floor or the farside highlands. The great depth of this mare beneath the nearby highlands probably explains why mare units are so rare on the lunar farside. Very few basins on the farside were deep enough to allow mare volcanism. Such a contrast in mare and highland elevations also exists on the nearside. Still, it is much smaller than that found on the farside. This may be because the Moon's crust is much thinner on the nearside. Thus, while large impact basins are found on both the nearside and farside, large maria are mostly found on the nearside. Mare lavas apparently could reach the surface more often and more easily there. (Lunar Orbiter image IV-103-M)

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