Volcanoes On the Moon

Volcanoes On the Moon


According to NASA, there were active volcanoes on the moon when dinosaurs were alive.


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Scientists previously thought that the moon's volcanic activity died down a billion years ago. But new data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, hints that lunar lava flowed much more recently, perhaps less than 100 million years ago. If only dinosaurs had invented telescopes, they might have seen lava occasionally oozing from the surface of the moon.

While in orbit around the moon, Apollo 15 astronauts took images of a strange volcanic deposit known as Ina. Research suggested that Ina was quite young and might have formed in a localized burst of volcanic activity, though most of the moon's volcanism occurred between 3.5 billion years ago and 1 billion years ago.

These distinctive rock deposits are called irregular mare patches. They're marked by a mixture of smooth, rounded mounds with blotches of rough, blocky terrain, and, on average, they're less than a third of a mile (500 meters) across. As such, they're typically too small to be seen from Earth. The discovery of these deposits could also change the way scientists think about the temperature of the moon's interior.


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