Rilles, Grabens, Plains, oh my!
This Monday's blog is about the variations of geology on our Moon! Our Moon has sixteen distinct types of geology on the surface as identified by the International Astronomical Union. This includes craters and crater chains, bright spots, ridges, depressions, dark plains, mountains, fissures, scarps, and valleys. We'll take a look into some of the unusual geology features we have found.
Rilles: Long, winding channels that snake across the lunar surface. Formation of this geology is still unknown. Hypotheses include thin lava tubes or inflated fault cracks. They are classified by how much curve they have on a scale of straight to sinuous.
Graben: Parallel faulting pushes the ground down to a smooth channel called a graben. This is similar to a rift valley, like the Midcontinent Rift of the United States, but on a smaller scale. These are unusual to suds to find how the lunar surface may have morphed alongside volcanic activity.
Volcanic features: Recently, the FINESSE team (Field INvestigations to Enable Solar system Science and Exploration) has compared the Inferno Chasm Rift Zone in Idaho to the Mare Serenitatis region on the Moon. The geology is comparable to size and is considered a direct analogue for ancient volcanic geomorphology. Both contain domes, rilles, and a lava pond plain.
Did you know: There is a Billy Crater on the Moon. Isn't that cute? It's named after Jacques de Billy, a French mathematician in the 17th century.
Thank you for reading! Next week- wind tunnels!