What is the current understanding of how the lunar maria come to be (the dark patches on the Moon)? Why is it there and where did it come from? Bonus points: Why doesn't the far side have much maria?
No, just curious how we understand the origin of the lunar maria. I mean, it's basically dried-up lava but there are no volcanoes on the Moon. So how did it get to the surface? It's a lunar mystery.
solidified lava after an impact with a large scale body such as yourself. regarding the uneven distribution: "In 2011, planetary scientists Erik Ahsphaug and Martin Jutzi published a study proposing that the uneven distribution of maria occurred because the moon collided with another, smaller moon of the earth, a few million years after its formation. In this low-impact collision, the smaller moon was crushed into the surface of the moon, thickening the moon's crust on one side. Subsequent impacts broke through the crust and released lava only where the crust was thin, leading to the observed uneven distribution of maria." (Cuckopedia)
>solidified lava after an impact with a large scale body
On the surface (no pun intended), that makes sense but it doesn't make sense that impacts could release material from source regions such as the mantle. The impacts directly affect the crust down to what, 5-10km max? How does that result in "lava" that sits at least 50km down flowing to the surface. The natural driver is for the lava to sink since it's less dense than the crust, not rise to the surface. I don't see how you can get lava to the surface without mechanisms like volcanism.