New analysis, using data from NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft, has determined that the large dark patch on the western edge of the Moon’s near side is not an impact crater after all.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Oceanus Procellarum, a vast dark patch visible on the western edge of the Moon’s near side, has long been a source of mystery for planetary scientists. Some have suggested that the “ocean of storms” is part of a giant basin formed by an asteroid impact early in the Moon’s history. But new research published today in Nature deals a pretty big blow to the impact theory. (more…)