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The surface of mercury

The first close-up look at Mercury came in 1974, when the US spacecraft Mariner 10 passed 9500 kilometers from the surface of the planet and transmitted more than 2000 photographs to Earth, revealing details with a resolution down to 150 meters. Subsequently, the planet was mapped in great detail by the MESSENGER spacecraft, which was launched in 2004 and made multiple flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury before settling into orbit around Mercury in 2011. It ended its life in 2015, when it was commanded to crash into the surface of the planet.

Mercury’s surface strongly resembles the Moon in appearance ( [link] and [link] ). It is covered with thousands of craters and larger basins up to 1300 kilometers in diameter. Some of the brighter craters are rayed, like Tycho and Copernicus on the Moon, and many have central peaks. There are also scarps (cliffs) more than a kilometer high and hundreds of kilometers long, as well as ridges and plains.

MESSENGER instruments measured the surface composition and mapped past volcanic activity. One of its most important discoveries was the verification of water ice (first detected by radar) in craters near the poles, similar to the situation on the Moon, and the unexpected discovery of organic (carbon-rich) compounds mixed with the water ice.

Mercury’s topography.

False Color Image of Mercury’s Topography. Data from the MESSENGER spacecraft was used to compile this detailed image of Mercury’s northern hemisphere. The lowest regions are shown in purple and blue, and the highest regions are shown in red. The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest regions shown here is roughly 10 kilometers.
The topography of Mercury’s northern hemisphere is mapped in great detail from MESSENGER data. The lowest regions are shown in purple and blue, and the highest regions are shown in red. The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest regions shown here is roughly 10 kilometers. The permanently shadowed low-lying craters near the north pole contain radar-bright water ice. (credit: modification of work by NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Caloris basin.

Photograph of the Caloris Basin on Mercury. The circular, flat plain of Caloris Basin is surrounded by cratered highlands and rough terrain. A few impact craters are scattered over the smooth surface of the basin.
This partially flooded impact basin is the largest known structural feature on Mercury. The smooth plains in the interior of the basin have an area of almost two million square kilometers. Compare this photo with [link] , the Orientale Basin on the Moon. (credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Most of the mercurian features have been named in honor of artists, writers, composers, and other contributors to the arts and humanities, in contrast with the scientists commemorated on the Moon. Among the named craters are Bach, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Van Gogh, and Scott Joplin.

There is no evidence of plate tectonics on Mercury. However, the planet’s distinctive long scarps can sometimes be seen cutting across craters; this means the scarps must have formed later than the craters ( [link] ). These long, curved cliffs appear to have their origin in the slight compression of Mercury’s crust. Apparently, at some point in its history, the planet shrank, wrinkling the crust, and it must have done so after most of the craters on its surface had already formed.

Questions & Answers

general equation for photosynthesis
Ojasope Reply
6CO2 + 6H2O + solar energy= C6H1206+ 6O2
Anastasiya
meaning of amino Acids
AJAYI Reply
a diagram of an adult mosquito
mubarak Reply
what are white blood cells
Mlungisi Reply
white blood cell is part of the immune system. that help fight the infection.
MG
what about tissue celss
Mlungisi
Cells with a similar function, form a tissue. For example the nervous tissue is composed by cells:neurons and glia cells. Muscle tissue, is composed by different cells.
Anastasiya
I need further explanation coz celewi anything guys,,,
Calvin Reply
hey guys
Isala
on what?
Anastasiya
hie
Lish
is air homogenous or hetrogenous
damiane Reply
homogenous
Kevin
why saying homogenous?
Isala
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
Yes, the plant does need oxygen. The plant uses oxygen, water, light, and produced food. The plant use process called photosynthesis.
MG
By using the energy of sunlight, plants convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen by photosynthesis. This happens during the day and sunlight is needed.
NOBLE
no. it s a product of the process
Anastasiya
yet still is it needed?
NOBLE
no. The reaction is: 6CO2+6H20+ solar energy =C6H12O6(glucose)+602. The plant requires Carbon dioxyde, light, and water Only, and produces glucose and oxygen( which is a waste).
Anastasiya
what was the question
NOBLE Reply
joining
Godfrey
the specific one
NOBLE
the study of non and living organism is called.
Godfrey
Is call biology
Alohan
yeah
NOBLE
yes
Usher
what Is ecology
Musonda Reply
what is a cell
Emmanuel Reply
A cell is a basic structure and functional unit of life
Ndongya
what is biolgy
Hawwi Reply
is the study of living and non living organisms
Ahmed
may u draw the female organ
MARTIN Reply
i dont understand
Asal
:/
Asal
me too
DAVID
anabolism and catabolism
Sani Reply
Anabolism refers to the process in methabolism in which complex molecules are formed "built" and requires energy to happen. Catabolism is the opposite process: complex molecules are deconstructed releasing energy, such as during glicolysis.
Anastasiya
Explain briefly independent assortment gene .
Otu Reply
hi
Amargo
hi I'm Anatalia
Joy
what do you mean by pituitary gland
Digambar
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
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Source:  OpenStax, Astronomy. OpenStax CNX. Apr 12, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11992/1.13
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