Moons of our Solar System
Moons of our Solar System

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Moons of our Solar System

3.4 Remote sensing – crater counting

Watch this Japanese simulated flyby of Mare Moscoviense. Pay specific attention to the difference between the brighter and darker areas in terms of the number and density of craters.

While the meteorites and returned samples give us invaluable information about lunar formation and the age of the Moon, most of its surface is unsampled and there is no way to get more rocks until future missions return samples. Still, we can learn a lot from these areas using the high-resolution images that have been returned of the Moon’s surface taken during missions such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). Indeed, the use of spacecraft to image the Moon produced a large quantity of remote-sensing data (images of the surface) that can be used to investigate the properties and characteristics of the unsampled areas.

Download this video clip.Video player: moons_1_vid047.mp4
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus