Lunar Mare Basalts: Conference Summary

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Abstract

Lunar mare basalts, which form the obvious dark patches on the face of our nearest planetary neighbor, may offer us a glimpse into processes commonly active during late stages in dynamic evolution of terrestrial planets, stages through which the earth itself may yet pass as its internal heat sources and attendant internal activity continue to decline. Alternatively, these basalts may be products of processes active only during early evolutionary histories of terrestrial planets, which have long since been reworked on earth but have been preserved on the more stable surface of the moon. These important questions, among others concerning interpretation of the truly massive quantities of photographic, chemical, physical, and petrologic data pertaining to the origins and significance of these interesting rocks, concerned the 110 scientists who participated in the Conference on Origins of Mare Basalts and Their Implications for Lunar Evolution, held on November 17–19, 1975, at the Lunar Science Institute in Houston, Texas.

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