Mare Moscoviense ("sea of Moscow") is a lunar mare that sits in the Moscoviense basin. It is one of the very few maria on the far side of the Moon. Like Mare Marginis, this mare appears to be fairly thin. However, it is clearly centered within a large impact basin. It is also much lower than either the outer basin floor or the farside highlands.
The great depth of this mare beneath the nearby highlands probably explains why mare units are so rare on the lunar farside. Very few basins on the farside were deep enough to allow mare volcanism. Thus, while large impact basins are found on both the nearside and farside, large maria are mostly found on the nearside. Mare lavas apparently could reach the surface more often and more easily there. The basin material is of the Nectarian epoch, while the mare material is of the Upper Imbrian epoch. Following the SELENE mission, scientists proposed that volcanism in Mare Moscoviense was active for at least ~1.5 Ga following the formation of the Moscoviense basin, but the formation of the mare as the result of a meteorite cluster impact, rather than from volcanism, has also been proposed based on the energy required to melt the lava in Mare Moscoviense.
The crater Komarov is to the southeast of the mare, and the crater Titov is in the northern region of the mare.
This region was named Mare Moscovrae after the first images of the far side were returned by Luna 3. However, today only the name Mare Moscoviense is recognized by the IAU and in current use.
- ^ "Moon Mare/Maria". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. Retrieved 2010-08-20.