The geology of the Moon

Jun 30th, 2015
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The geology of the Moon (sometimes called selenology, although the latter term can refer more generally to "lunar science") is quite different from that of the Earth. The Moon lacks a significant atmosphere, which eliminates erosion due to weather; it does not possess any form of plate tectonics, it has a lower gravity, and because of its small size

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Thegeology of the MoonThegeology of the Moon(sometimes calledselenology, although the latter term can refer more generally to "lunar science") is quite different from that of theEarth. TheMoonlacks a significantatmosphere, which eliminateserosiondue toweather; it does not possess any form ofplate tectonics, it has a lowergravity, and because of its small size, it cools more rapidly. The complexgeomorphologyof the lunar surface has been formed by a combination of processes, chief among which areimpact crateringandvolcanism. The Moon is a differentiated body, possessing acrust,mantleandcore.Geologicalstudies of the Moon are based on a combination of Earth-basedtelescopeobservations, measurements fromorbiting spacecraft,lunar samples, and geophysical data. A few locations were sampled directly during theApollomissions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which returned approximately 385 kilograms of lunar rock and soil to Earth, as well as several missions of theSovietLuna programme. The Moon is the only extraterrestrial body for which we possess samples with a known geologic context. A handful oflunar meteoriteshave been recognized on Earth, though their sourcecraterson the Moon are unknown. A substantial portion of the lunar surface has not been explored, and a number of geological questions remain unanswered.Contents[hide]1Elemental composition2Formation3Geologic history3.1Strata an

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