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Degraded multi-ring impact basins on Mercury

Friday, July 29, 2011
Andre (Applicant)

Ancient, degraded multi-ring impact basins form the large-scale structural framework of Mercury’s surface.  This population of basins is thought to represent the remnants of a (lunar-like) heavily cratered terrain on Mercury. Previous studies of Mercury’s ancient degraded basins proposed the locations of several potential basins, but due to limitations of the Mariner 10 image data were unable to clearly observe some of these highly-degraded basins. Images from both the Mariner 10 mission and MESSENGER’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) camera and stereo topography are used to investigate the presence of these and previously unidentified basins.  Examining and quantifying this basin population has implications for better constraining the early bombardment history of Mercury’s surface.

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