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Mare Serenitatis

Mare Serenitatis

Date: 31 July 2006
Satellite: SMART-1
Depicts: Region in Mare Serenitatis
Location: ESA/Space-X (Space Exploration Institute)
Copyright: ESA

This animated sequence, composed of three images taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board SMART-1, shows a portion of Mare Serenitatis on the Moon.

AMIE obtained the images on 18 March 2006 at distances between 1257 and 1213 kilometres from the surface, with a ground resolution ranging between 114 and 110 metres per pixel. The imaged area is ~57 km on each side and is centred at about 21° East longitude and 18° North latitude. The Sun was in the West direction (to the left) at about 50 degrees elevation, North is up.

Mare Serenitatis is one of the lunar maria, that are vast lava plains on the lunar surface. It formed between 3.9 and 3.8 thousand million years ago, a period in which the Moon was heavily bombarded by asteroids and the major impact basins on the Moon were formed. This was followed by an episode of lunar volcanism that flooded the basin with basalt creating a fresh and flat surface. Later smaller impacts created the craters that can be seen today.

"Thanks to the solar elevation and SMART-1's camera resolution, the statistics of the sizes of the craters can be well determined in different units," says SMART-1 Project scientist Bernard Foing. "This permits us to establish a chronology, calibrated on absolute ages from isotopic measurements on returned lunar samples".

Directly southeast of Mare Serenitatis lies Mare Tranquillitatis. Both maria have been visited by lunar landers. In particular, Luna 21 and Apollo 17 (the last manned lunar mission to land on the Moon so far), landed on Mare Serenitatis in January 1973 and December 1972, respectively.




18 March 2006


1213 - 1257 km


21° E


18° N


110-114 m/pixel

Last Update: 1 September 2019
29-May-2024 01:36 UT

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