Global map of crustal thickness of the moon derived from gravity data obtained by NASA's GRAIL spacecraft. The lunar near side is represented on the left hemisphere. The far side is represented in the right hemisphere.
In the left hemisphere, outlined in white, is the Procellarum KREEP Terrane, a large province on the near side of the moon which contains high abundances of potassium, rare earth elements and phosphorus. Excluding the Aitken basin at the south pole (the gray circle on the lower half of the far side hemisphere), there are 12 impact basins with crustal thinning that have diameters greater than 124 miles (200 kilometers) on each hemisphere. Those are marked with black circles. The image is presented in two hemispherical Lambert azimuthal equal-area projections centered over the near side (left), and far side (right) hemispheres.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Miljkovic
Page Last Updated: November 8th, 2013
Page Editor: Tony Greicius