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Earth's Suffocating Little Sibling - The Composition of Mercury and Implications for the Solar System

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mercury has been referred to as odd, enigmatic and quirky.  Recent discoveries have served to enhance Mercury’s reputation as a bizarre planet. Mercury’s unique space environment, mass, and composition lead to extreme conditions that can serve as important tests for models of geologic processes. The MESSENGER spacecraft recently completed one year in orbit around Mercury. In this presentation I will review major recent discoveries that challenge conventional geochemical and geophysical wisdom and offer some alternative interpretations of Mercury’s surface composition, space weathering products, and volatile inventory.

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