The Moon has long been an object of fascination to everyone from casual observers to scientists. Aside from Earth, it is the planet about which we know most. The Moon has been photographed, probed and analyzed from orbit to determine its surface composition. Nearly a half ton of it has been returned to Earth for analyses by every conceivable method. More missions have been flown to the Moon than to any other object (Table 4.1). As discussed in Chapters 1 and 2, studies of planetary geomorphology began with the Moon. Thus, the Moon served as a‘training ground’ for learning how to study the geology of extraterrestrial worlds. It is fortunate that the Moon played this role because, in many respects, it is a relatively simple object for analysis. Lacking an atmosphere, none of the complicating ‘imprints’ of wind or running water are superimposed on its surface. Consequently, the Moon was a far easier subject for developing methods to analyze planetary objects than if the first planet studied had been a more complicated body such as Mars.
KeywordsLunar Surface Impact Crater Lunar Orbiter Large Crater Lunar Crust
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