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Retracing the origins of a massive, multi-ring crater

Scientists from MIT and elsewhere have reconstructed the extreme collision that created one of the moon's largest craters, 3.8 billion years ago. The team has retraced the moons dramatic response in the first hours following the massive impact, and identified the processes by which large, multi-ring basins can form in the aftermath of such events.
The findings, published today in two papers in the journal Science, may shed light on how giant impacts shaped the evolution of the moon, and even life on Earth, shortly after the planets formed.

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Orientale impact basin
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NASA Moon Mission Shares Insights into Giant Impacts

New results from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission are providing insights into the huge impacts that dominated the early history of Earth's moon and other solid worlds, like Earth, Mars, and the satellites of the outer solar system.
In two papers, published this week in the journal Science, researchers examine the origins of the moon's giant Orientale impact basin. The research helps clarify how the formation of Orientale, approximately 3.8 billion years ago, affected the moon's geology.

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Mare Orientale captured with a 100mm f5 Helios refractor and vesta pro webcam.

Capture 2015-06-04T02_17_54 
Date 04.06.15 


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Mare Orientale ("eastern sea" in Latin) is a Lunar mare. It is located on the western border of the Moon's nearside and farside and is thus difficult to see from an Earthbound perspective. 
Mare Orientale is difficult to observe from Earth, as it lies at the extreme western edge of the near side. All that can be seen are the rough mountain ranges - the Montes Rook and the Montes Cordillera - and some glimpses of the dark mare material beyond them. However, the Moon's libration means that on rare occasions Mare Orientale is turned slightly more toward the Earth, and becomes a little more discernible.
 
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MareOrientaleb.jpg



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