Talk:Geology of the Moon

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WikiProject Moon[edit]

The Wikipedia:WikiProject Moon main page has just been created.

The goals of WikiProject Moon are to improve the quality of existing articles related to The Moon, to create articles to cover a broader range of lunar topics, and to categorize and link them in appropriate ways. The result of this work should be articles that are accessible to the lay reader and yet also useful to the professional working in the field. Some articles will be of interest to grade-school students, others only to advanced graduate students and post-docs: all such communities should be served.

Cheers! Lunokhod 14:55, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

unknown words[edit]

I marked the word acceretion in the section on formation theories, as this is a wild guess on the meaning of the word acreción.

There are several wode in the remaining paragraphs that I don't understand, and which aren't defined in the spanish Wiki.

Resources: Spanish dictionary

Translation from Spanish[edit]

Here is a translation (and slight cleanup) from the lead of the Spanish-language article. Feel free to use it as you will, and to delete it from here when you are done. Right now, the Spanish text is in one massive (commented-out) section, much too large for me to edit on my home computer. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:14, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Knowledge of the geology of the moon increased significantly in the 1960s with the manned and unmanned lunar landing missions. Despite all that was learned, there remain unanswered questions which are only liable to be answered by means of future permanent bases and a wider study of the lunar surface. Thanks to its nearby location, the Moon is the only heavenly body—other than the Earth itself—for which we have detailed geological knowledge and where we have obtained that data from multiple regions. The manned Apollo missions contributed to the recovery of 385 kilograms of rocks and direct knowledge of the lunar surfave, which continue to be an object of study, useful in increasing human understanding of the formation of other heavenly bodies.

right|300px|Visible side of the Moon

Man, I translated it already. I wish I had seen this before, it would have made my life a bit easier... Titoxd(?!?) 05:31, 11 October 2005 (UTC)


I've translated the following text:

Otro tipo de depósito asociado con los mares, aunque también cubre a las áreas de las tierras altas, son los depósitos de manto oscuro. Estos depósitos no pueden ser vistos a simple vista sino con la ayuda de telescopios o la cercanía de naves espaciales. Antes de las misiones Apollo, los científicos creían que se trataba de depósitos producidos por erupciones piroclásticas. Algunos depósitos parecen estar asociados con conos de cenizas oscuros y anchos reforzando la idea de las erupciones piroclásticas, posteriormente confirmadas por el hallazgo de perlas de vidrio como las que se encuentran en las erupciones piroclásticas de la Tierra.

Does anyone know what "manto oscuro" is? Titoxd(?!?) 23:13, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

"manto oscuro" directly translates as "dark mantle". M@$+@ Ju 15:26, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Diagram translation[edit]

I'm translating the diagram at es:Imagen:Impactcraterformation_lmb.png but as I'm nowhere near fluent in Spanish there are a couple of words I'm unsure of:

  • fundido
  • lecho

Can anybody help me out? --David Wahler (talk) 15:44, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

    • Fundido would be molten, and lecho de roca is bedrock. Titoxd(?!?) 17:17, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks -- I've uploaded the diagram. If anybody has any suggestions for improvement, please let me know. --David Wahler (talk) 16:57, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Translation done[edit]

I've finished doing the main translation of the article, and all that's left now is translating the images and doing general copyediting. Thanks to all of those who helped. Titoxd(?!?) 22:15, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Geologic terms[edit]

Sorry I’m always late. Here you have some of the geological terms related to the lunar geology. There are many others, so if there are other terms to be translated don’t hesitate to ask me:

  • Aglutinado: agglutinate.
  • Anortosita: anorthosite.
  • Brecha: breccia.
  • Cadena de cráteres: crater chain.
  • Depósito de manto oscuro: dark mantle deposit (this refers to the dark color caused by the presence of basalt-rich lavas).
  • Deyecto: ejecta.
  • Altiplanicie: highland.
  • Ilmenita: ilmenite.
  • KREEP: KREEP (K for potassium, Rare Earth Elements and P for phosphorus).
  • Océano magmático / océano de magma: magma ocean.
  • Mar basáltico / mar de basalto: mare basalt. Mare (sea) and Maria (plural).
  • Lunamoto: Moonquake.
  • Norita: norite.
  • Olivino: olivine.
  • Pahoehoe: Pahoehoe (basaltic lava with a smooth, billowy, or ropy surface).
  • Feldespato plagioclasa: plagioclase feldspar.
  • Rayo: ray (streak of material blasted out and away from an impact crater.
  • Rille: rille (long channels crossing the surface of maria; probably formed either as an open channel in a lava flow, or as an underground tube carrying hot lava which collapsed as the lava flowed out).
  • Troctolito: troctolite.
  • Vesícula: vesicle (bubble-shaped cavity in a volcanic rock formed by expanding gases).
  • Meteorización: weathering.

Diagrams and images: I will replace the existing diagrams by better drawings and will license all images properly later this week. For the time being I can say that all NASA images I used there are PD. I’ve got to rush now…. Regards, Luis María Benítez 11:55, 17 October 2005 (UTC)


"The complex morphology of the lunar surface has been formed by a combination of processes, chief among which are impact cratering, volcanism, and tectonics."

Whoa! There was "tectonics" on the Moon? I seriously doubt there ever was. I'm going to remove that part until someone comes up with a citation or something. The QBasicJedi 20:14, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

For tectonics, in terms of surface faulting, I believe there is ample evidence. Please see the article on Rilles. Fault lines are the standard explanation for straight rilles. There are also wrinkle ridges, which may also be localized tectonic features. Perhaps you were thinking of plate tectonics on the Earth? — RJH (talk) 22:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Reference: "Lunar tectonism is very simple, and there are only two principal classes of tectonic feature. Their mode of formation is well understood, and their distribution patterns are understandable in terms of the filling of the basins by lava. Moreover, the tectonism appears to have been confined mostly to a very narrow interval of time about 3 billion years ago, and subsequent activity has been minor, with some conspicuous exceptions." --Paul D. Spudis, Ch. V, "The Once and Future Moon," Smithsonian, 1996, ISBN 1-56098-634-4.
I think the point is that tectonism is not a "chief" process on the Moon, as the original sentence states. Of course there was tectonism, but it is relatively simple and almost always related to impact craters. Lunokhod 12:13, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Impact Cratering[edit]

"The amount of wear experienced by a crater was another clue to its age, as also is its diameter." [Emphasis added] Could someone explain how the size of a crater aids in its age determination? Dan Watts 13:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

In almost every case on the Moon, smaller craters overlap larger craters, and not vice versa. The historical trend has been toward smaller impacts as the loose material is steadily accreted by larger bodies or is ejected from the solar system. — RJH (talk) 18:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Molten liquid core[edit]

"The mass of the moon is sufficient to eliminate any voids within the interior, so it is believed to be composed of solid rock throughout."

I believe this statement is now only partially correct. James Williams[1] of JPL was able to demonstrate that the Moon likely has a small molten liquid core.[2][3]RJH (talk) 18:13, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The context indicates that the meaning is that there are not huge empty spaces far beneath the surface, that the rock is forced together to fill voids. Similarly, if there is a liquid core it should not have voids in it. The core is described in parts of the article other than this sentence. (SEWilco 19:45, 13 October 2006 (UTC))
Clearly, hence the word "partially". :-) — RJH (talk) 17:52, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposed merge of Lunar surface with Geology of the Moon[edit]

  • AGAINST. I instead suggest deletion of Lunar surface, as this page doesn't seem to have any purpose. I do not think that it would be a good idea to have a redirect from Lunar surface to Geology of the Moon, as the two are not that closely related. It would probably make more sence to redirect to regolith, lunar soil, or something else. Alternatively, the stub of lunar surface could be developped in the lines of geotechnics. Lunokhod 09:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Redirect lunar surface to here. The discussion about lunar topographical features can be best handled by this article, as most of the detail is here already. Titoxd(?!?) 16:33, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

False Color Image[edit]

FYI, I've added a [color image] to the article. Please let me know what you think.

--KNHaw (talk) 00:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Grain size of the lunar regolith[edit]

I have searched for some info on the grain sizes in the lunar regolith, without finding anything. I know lunar landing hoaxists claim that it is not possible to get footprints like this in dry sand, but i suppose that is possible because the regolith is actually much finer than sand. I think the article should say somehting about that. Gwissi —Preceding comment was added at 16:13, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merger of Lunar surface into Geology of the Moon#Lunar landscape (Dec. 2010)[edit]

Lunar surface into Geology of the Moon#Lunar landscape. Everything that would be within the scope of the aforementioned article would fall into the latter section of this article. The Lunar surface article, in addition, has minimal info and no sources. I suggest a mere redirect, as there's really nothing to merge. Tyrol5 [Talk] 01:43, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and will be bold and do it. Lunar surface is decrepit. Chris857 (talk) 02:11, 8 August 2011 (UTC)


Anyone able to create/update a section on Lunar Volcanism based on the discovery of 'dark side' silicic volcanoes [4]

Or is there an article already covering that ? EdwardLane (talk) 09:39, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Far side of the moon[edit]

I would like to see more about the "geographic" features of the far side of the moon. Oddly, there is darn little on the Wikipedia about this. The discussion of the South Pole–Aitken basin seems to be just about it.Paul, in Saudi (talk) 04:01, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 18 April 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. (non-admin closure) TonyBallioni (talk) 18:21, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Geology of the MoonSelenology – the term gets nearly 30,000 Google hits, and it is not a misnomer. "Geology of the moon" is a misnomer because "geo" means of the Earth. Calling it the geology of the moon is an analogy to calling a woman who gives birth to triplets a woman who gives birth to 3 twins. Georgia guy (talk) 17:34, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Oppose. Google search gives me 361,000 hits for "geology of the Moon", 31,700 hits for "planetary geology" (excluding Earth), 28,200 hits for "selenology" and 22,900 hits for "lunar geology".
Here is a NASA and USGS statement about the usage of "Geology of the Moon" (or lunar geology) versus "Selenology" at :
Selenology: "Use of the prefix "geo-" for lunar and planetary studies has been criticized, but it is justified by: applicability to all other solid bodies of the geologic principles developed for the Earth; elimination of the need for new terms for every new world observed at geologically useful scales, whose number now exceeds 20; the Greek etymology, which includes the meanings "land" or "ground"; three decades of usage (Shoemaker, 1962a, p 117; Ronca, 1965; Mutch,1970; Wilhelms, 1970b). The prefix "seleno-" is no longer used by professional lunar scientists except in some terms referring to coordinates, control points, or the global figure (selenographic, selenodetic). Although "astrogeology" was chosen as a convenient and appropriate name (Milton, 1969) for the U.S Geological Survey's branch devoted to Lunar and Planetary studies, "lunar (planetary) geology" is more commonly used. "Planetology" is a broader term that includes such nongeologic sciences as atmospherics and planetary astronomy." (Text from the Geologic History of the Moon, Wilhelms, Don E., USGS professional paper 1348).
--GeoWriter (talk) 18:56, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
No as "Selenology" is too obscure and will not be recognised by most. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:14, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Geology" is not literally "the study of the earth" so that it can be transferred to another planet or moon by replacing the "geo" part. Also what NASA says, and what an average person would understand. BigJim707 (talk) 16:08, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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