This mission to the lunar highlands revealed that we were not quite ready to understand the earliest chapters of the Moon's history. The plains near the crater Descartes were thought to be volcanic in origin. When the astronauts arrived they found instead rocks that suggested a complex sequence of impact processes. Just to the south of the landing site is the bright South Ray crater, sampled by the astronauts and found to be only 2 million years old - very young and fresh for a crater of this size.
To learn more, visit the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal's Apollo 16 page.
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