After years of believing the ‘face’ on the moon was caused by asteroid strikes, scientists have discovered the dark spots are actually plains of solidified lava.
According to new research in science journal Nature, scientists previously thought Procellarum, a dark patch on the moon more than half the size of Australia, was caused by a giant asteroid.
Using spacecraft data, American geophysicists have discovered the dark spot is actually a giant plain of solidified lava, caused by hot magma rising to the moon’s surface and cooling.
Scientists have long debated whether Procellarum was caused by an asteroid, despite lacking signs of impact like scars and mountains.
After using data from NASA spacecraft which orbited the moon in 2012, the finding has delivered a “big blow to the asteroid theory”, according to Brown University, which contributed to the study.