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High-Res Images of New Territory on Mercury

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posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Flying within 228 kilometers of the surface of Mercury on September 29, the MESSENGER spacecraft snapped portraits of a portion of the planet that had never before been imaged close-up

From this article: High-Res Images of New Territory on Mercury

You can see all of the Hi-Res versions of the below pics here: Messenger






The pic above is quite interesting to me!

The unnamed crater in the center of the image, viewed at close range for the first time yesterday during MESSENGER’s third flyby of Mercury, displays an arc-shaped depression known as a pit crater on its floor. This pit crater is similar to those seen in this unnamed crater and crater Gibran imaged during MESSENGER’s first Mercury flyby in January 2008 and in crater Lermontov, observed by both Mariner 10 and by MESSENGER during its second flyby (October 2008). Impact craters on Mercury that host pit craters in their interiors have been named pit-floor craters. Unlike impact craters, pit craters are rimless, often irregularly shaped, and steep-sided, and they display no associated ejecta or lava flows but are typically distinctive in color. Thought to be evidence of shallow magmatic activity, pit craters may have formed when subsurface magma drained elsewhere and left a roof area unsupported, leading to collapse and the formation of the pit. In this example, the southern area of the pit appears to have two or more floor levels. The discovery of multiple pit-floor craters augments a growing body of evidence that volcanic activity was widespread in the geologic evolution of Mercury's crust.






Here is how it was done



-E-

Check out the Flyby Dynamic Visualization It's Intense!

[edit on 30-9-2009 by MysterE]




posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:28 PM
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As I was looking at the photo's I wondered, do we know why Mercury, Venus, Mars and our moon have so many craters but Venus and Earth have so few? Seems strange. Im sure someone here knows the answer.



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by liveandletlive
As I was looking at the photo's I wondered, do we know why Mercury, Venus, Mars and our moon have so many craters but Venus and Earth have so few? Seems strange. Im sure someone here knows the answer.


Earth and Venus both have atmospheres, which basically disintegrate comets and asteroids... Not all comets and asteroids, however...



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by impaired

Originally posted by liveandletlive
As I was looking at the photo's I wondered, do we know why Mercury, Venus, Mars and our moon have so many craters but Venus and Earth have so few? Seems strange. Im sure someone here knows the answer.


Earth and Venus both have atmospheres, which basically disintegrate comets and asteroids... Not all comets and asteroids, however...

...Not only that, but the weather and plate tectonics on Earth have worn away and obliterated signs of craters that DID once appear on Earth.

There are craters on the Moon that are 4 billion years old. Due to plate tectonics, none of the exposed surface of the earth is that old. Plus, it only takes a few million years for Earth's rain, snow, wind, glaciers, etc. to erode a crater away to nothing.

The craters still easily visible on Earth are very new...for example, "Meteor Crater" in Arizona is a mere 50,000 years old, and "Wolfe Creek Crater" in Australia is only 300,000 years old. The oldest craters on Earth that we can still see some remnants of are only about 300 Million years old -- which is still relatively young compared to some craters on the moon, which can be more than 10 times older.

[edit on 9/30/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]




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