Is There Volcanic Activity In The Moon’s Tycho Crater?

Contradictory to the traditional belief, the Moon had a lot of volcanic activity and was not a dead Moon. And all this, according to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and India’s Chandrayaan-1.

The focus of this study was Moon crater Tycho. It is a young impact crater of the Copernican Age located in the southern highlands of the Moon. 

This lunar crater has a well-developed central peak with an altitude of two kilometers. 

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Moon Crater Tycho is a Young Crater of Copernican Age 

And, the findings in the report have important implications for the understanding of the mechanism of the evolution and formation of the Moon’s central peaks and volcanic activity on the Moon.

Moon crater Tycho is a young impact lunar crater of Copernican age about 110 Ma located in the southern highlands of the Moon. 

How tall is the central peak of Tycho crater?

The Tycho crater has a well-developed central peak with an altitude of around 2 km. 

And the central peaks of considerable Moon craters are perfect for studying the deep-seated crustal material. 

In this short article, we will see the results of a combined compositional and morphological analysis for the center peak of the Moon crater Tycho by utilizing high-resolution data from TMC or Terrain Mapping Camera and M3 or the Moon Mineralogy Mapper onboard Chandrayaan-1 with data from Narrow-Angle Camera (NAC) of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. 


Picture showing Chandrayaan-1 Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) data mosaic of the Tycho crater. Credit: Current Science.
Picture showing Chandrayaan-1 Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) data mosaic of the Tycho crater. Credit: Current Science.

The Analysis Results of Tycho Crater’s Central Peak

And, the analysis reveals several morphological features connected with volcanism in the form of volcanic vents, clasts, domes, impact melted lava ponds displaying distinct cooling cracks, and flow patterns around and on Tycho crater’s central peak.

Compositionally, M3 or Moon Mineralogy Mapper data imply that the central peak is very heterogeneous and dominated by high-Ca pyroxene-rich rocks. 


Moon crater Tycho. Credit: NASA.
Moon crater Tycho. Credit: NASA.

Tycho Crater Has Diverse Morphology And Mineralogical Variability

Furthermore, the base of the middle peak is anorthositic in its nature. And, this distinct morphological and mineralogical evidence suggest that the central peak of the Moon crater Tycho has diverse morphology and mineralogical variability, implying multiphase modifications subsequent to the Moon crater formation.

The appearance of different mafic lithologies on the center peak located in a predominantly anorthositic geological setting implies exposure of the subsurface pluton during the impact and therefore provides insight into the structure of the lunar inner crust. 

That’s it, and I hope you enjoyed this short article. If you want to learn more about this fascinating crater, then go here and find out everything you need to know about Tycho crater. You will be amazed.

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