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Ocean of Storms
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NASA Mission Points to Origin of "Ocean of Storms" on Earths Moon

Using data from NASAs Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), mission scientists have solved a lunar mystery almost as old as the moon itself.
Early theories suggested the craggy outline of a region of the moons surface known as Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms, was caused by an asteroid impact. If this theory had been correct, the basin it formed would be the largest asteroid impact basin on the moon. However, mission scientists studying GRAIL data believe they have found evidence the craggy outline of this rectangular region -- roughly 2,600 kilometres across -- is actually the result of the formation of ancient rift valleys.

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RE: Oceanus Procellarum
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Moon's hidden valley system revealed

Scientists have identified a huge rectangular feature on the Moon that is buried just below the surface.
The 2,500km-wide structure is believed to be the remains of old rift valleys that later became filled with lava.
Centred on the Moon's Procellarum region, the feature is really only evident in gravity maps acquired by Nasa's Grail mission in 2012.

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MIT researchers find that a volcanic plume, not an asteroid, likely created the moon's largest basin.

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.
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Procellarum Moon basin formed by giant impact

A flattened 1,800-mile-wide section of the moon was likely caused by a collision with an asteroid the size of Austria, Japanese researchers say.
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Procellarum basin is unmasked as giant asteroid crater

Scientists say a flattened section of the moon, 3,000 kilometres wide, was likely caused by a collision with an asteroid the size of Austria.
The moon's Procellarum basin, the dark part as seen from Earth, is what remains of the impact crater, they said. Its vast size is apparent in relation to the moon's diameter: 3,476 km. (The basin is likened in Japanese folklore to the shape of a rabbit pounding rice cakes.)

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OceanusProcellarum2.jpg



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Crater Grimaldi (bottom) and Oceanus Procellarum captured with a 4" refractor and Vesta pro webcam.
2X Barlow lens.
Light yellow filter and IR-cut filter



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