Oceanus Procellarum

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Oceanus Procellarum (pronounced /oʊˈsiːənəs ˌprɒsəˈlɛərəm/), Latin for "Ocean of Storms", is a vast lunar mare on the western edge of the near side of the Earth's Moon. Its name derives from the old superstition that its appearance during the second quarter heralded bad weather. Oceanus Procellarum is the largest of the lunar maria, stretching more than 2,500 km (1,600 mi) across its north-south axis and covering roughly 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi) but is, nevertheless, still smaller than the surface area of the Mediterranean Sea on Earth.

Like all lunar maria, Oceanus Procellarum was formed by ancient basaltic flood volcanic eruptions that covered the region in a thick, nearly flat layer of solidified magma. Unlike the other lunar maria, however, Oceanus Procellarum is not contained within a single well-defined impact basin (evidence for a "Procellarum basin" of impact origin is equivocal). Around its edges lie many minor bays and seas, including Mare Nubium and Mare Humorum to the south. To the northeast, Oceanus Procellarum is separated from Mare Imbrium by the Carpathian Mountains. On its north-west edge lies the 32 km wide Aristarchus ray crater, which is considered as the brightest feature on the Near side of the Moon[2]. Also, the more-prominent ray-crater Copernicus lies within the eastern edge of the mare, distinctly with its bright ray materials sprawling over the darker material.

The robotic lunar probes Luna 9, Luna 13, Surveyor 1 and Surveyor 3 landed in Oceanus Procellarum. The manned Apollo 12 mission also landed in Oceanus Procellarum, with astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean onboard.

On the northern edge of Oceanus Procellarum lies Sinus Roris.


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