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Mercury Caloris Basin

Image of Mercury Caloris Basin
CRATERS, CRATERS, EVERYWHERE! Mercury is extreme. Of all the rocky planets in our Solar System, it’s the smallest and densest, it has the oldest surface and the largest daily variations in surface temperature, and, until now, it was the least explored. NASA’s Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, which inserted into Mercury’s orbit in March, 2011, will change all that! It will reveal Mercury’s geologic history, the nature of its magnetic field, the structure of its core, and the composition of its thin exosphere. This false-color image prominently features Caloris Basin, one of the largest impact basins in the Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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