Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Moon's largest plain is not an impact crater

Gravity data suggest flats of volcanic basalt formed from tectonic stretching.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Andrews-Hanna, J. C. et al. Nature 514, 68-71 (2014).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Gravity maps reveal why the dark side of the Moon is covered in craters 2013-Nov-07

Tandem satellites probe the Moon's interior 2012-Sep-14

Early Earth may have had two moons 2011-Aug-03

The Moon reveals its weirder side 2009-Feb-12

Moon mapping mission ends with controlled crash

Related external links

NASA Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gibney, E. Moon's largest plain is not an impact crater. Nature (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing