The Story
More Background

For Teachers

For Students

For Reference
Internet Links


About Moon Craters

The Moon landscape is not like Earth's. It does not have oceans, lakes, rivers, or streams. The major features of the Moon's surface can be seen as lighter and darker areas when you look at it from Earth. The brighter areas are the highlands, also known as lunar terrae. The darker plains are called the lunar maria, or "seas" which they resembled to the first scientists to examine the Moon with telescopes.
From what we have seen it is clear that the highlands are covered with overlapping craters. The Apollo photographs show craters ranging from 1 meter to more than a 1,000 kilometers.Essentially all lunar craters, regardless of their size, were produced by the impact of cosmic objects or meterorite impact. These objects strike the surface at a very high speed (70,000 Km/hour).The impact sends shock waves and creates heat.The objects are broken apart, some of the material is vaporized, some is melted and some broken pieces are tossed out of the target area and piled up around the hole produced. A small amount of the fragmented material is tossed great distances from the impact area along paths called rays.

The Moon written by an university professor shows many of the Moon craters in close up photos. The text is fairly easy to understand and explains craters and other formations seen on the Moon. A clearly labled map of the Moon shows the seas visible on the nearside of the Moon.Pictures can take a while to load if you are on a slower connection.

See also Lunar Meterorites

Learn more about Moon craters and how they were formed by making some craters of your own using the Moon Crater activity.