Ancient 'Fire Fountain' On The Moon Theorized By NASA

Admin | Published 2016-09-06 12:18

Massive outbreaks on the early moon may have been bigger than those of the Earth today, according to a new imagining of a lunar volcanic area's creation.

The video focuses in on Rima Prinz, a canal on the moon that was engraved by lava flow from a volcanic phenomena called Vera. This snake-like topographical feature is approximately 50 miles (75 km) long and is situated in Oceanus Procellarum, an early lava flat about 60 miles (100 km) to the east of Aristarchus Plateau, some plain with a very large hole in it. Back in the ancient past, outbreaks in Vera molded a lake of lava around 1,000 feet (300 m) deep, as shown on the NASA video.

Space.com

NASA officials said in a statement supporting the video that:

"Vera may have formed as a lava lake fed by multiple eruptions of a fire fountain volcano, similar to Mauna Ulu in Hawaii, but vastly larger …Rima Prinz is 100 times deeper, and 10 times longer than, similar channels on Earth."

 

Space.com

The imagination came from tape taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which took images at numerous resolutions so that experts could grasp the close-up details and also the environmental context for the geographies. Scientists also combined data from LROC's narrow-angle camera imageries and its laser altimeter, which measures altitude.

Springs of lava were common on the moon back then. The moon was probably shaped when a Mars-size body  decided to crash into the early Earth. The excess fragments ultimately formed the moon, but the surface was not yet stable; it was active, with overflowing lava fountains doing regular eruptions on the surface. Were you fascinated? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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