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.
|Eponym||Sea of Muscovy|
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 Titov is in the northeastern region of the mare, and Tereshkova lies along the northern edge. The floor-fractured crater Komarov lies on the southeast edge of the mare. The Korolev basin is to the southeast of the mare, and the Freundlich-Sharonov Basin is to the east.
This region was named Mare Moscovrae after the first images of the far side were returned by Luna 3 in 1959. The name was approved by the IAU in 1961. The names of maria generally call up psychic states of mind, with a few exceptions. When Mare Moscoviense was discovered, and the name was proposed by the Soviet Union, it was only accepted by the International Astronomical Union with the justification that Moscow is a state of mind.
Gravity map based on GRAIL
Mare Moscoviense from Lunar Orbiter 5, clearly showing the extent of the basin in which the mare lies.
Mare Moscoviense from Apollo 13
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