Long-Lived Volcanism on the Lunar Farside Revealed by SELENE Terrain Camera

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Science  13 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5916, pp. 905-908
DOI: 10.1126/science.1163382

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We determined model ages of mare deposits on the farside of the Moon on the basis of the crater frequency distributions in 10-meter-resolution images obtained by the Terrain Camera on SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) (Kaguya). Most mare volcanism that formed mare deposits on the lunar farside ceased at ∼3.0 billion years ago, suggesting that mare volcanism on the Moon was markedly reduced globally during this period. However, several mare deposits at various locations on the lunar farside also show a much younger age, clustering at ∼2.5 billion years ago. These young ages indicate that mare volcanism on the lunar farside lasted longer than was previously considered and may have occurred episodically.

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