NASA’s GRAIL mission sheds light on the origin of the Procellarum basin on the Moon

New data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL mission reveals that the Procellarum region on the near side of the moon – a giant basin often referred to as the “man in the moon” – likely arose not from a massive asteroid strike, but from a large plume of magma deep within the moon’s interior.
The Procellarum region is a roughly circular, volcanic terrain some 1,800 miles in diameter – nearly as wide as the United States. One hypothesis suggested that it was formed by a massive impact, in which case it would have been the largest impact basin on the moon. Subsequent asteroid collisions overprinted the region with smaller – although still large – basins.

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