Composition of Aristarchus plateau

Composition of Aristarchus plateau

. This colored Clementine mosaic illustrates the composition and mineralogy in the Aristarchus plateau, an elevated block of crust surrounded by the vast mare lava plains of Oceanus Procellarum. The fresh, excavated highland materials appear blue, mare lava flows are reddish purple, fresh basalt in the crater and and rilles is yellow, and ash and volcanic glass is dark red. The two dark blue spots in the center of Aristarchus are consistent with a composition of almost pure anorthosite, a primitive rock type that floated to the top of the ancient magma ocean. The sinuous rille is Schröter's Valley, or Vallis Schroteri, a large lava cannel stretching for about 160 thousand meters across the plateau. (Courtesy of JPL, NASA and the US Geological Survey.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University