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33. Apollo 17 site: Oblique view
The eastern margin of Mare Serenitatis displays a distinctive albedo contrast. Dark mare materials separate the rest of Mare Serenitatis from the rugged highlands to the east. The landing site is on the dark mare material present within the Taurus-Littrow valley (lower right), a tectonically produced break in the rim of the Serenitatis Basin. The Taurus-Littrow valley and its immediate surroundings have a lower albedo than most of Mare Serenitatis; the low albedo of the valley floor and the presence of dark ‘halos’ around some of the craters led many scientists to believe, prior to the landing, that products associated with energetic volcanic eruptions should be present.
NASA photograph AS17-0939[M]