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1 Ancient river-like volcanoes formed Mercury’s plains
By Kerry Sheridan, AFP
3 hrs ago
|The planet closest to the Sun had plenty of its own heat to release billions of years ago and erupted in vast river-like volcanoes that oozed around its northern pole, said a study out Thursday.
For more than three decades, scientists have thought volcanoes may have helped craft Mercury’s smooth northern plains but they have learned much more since a NASA spacecraft began orbiting Mercury for the first time this year.
A series of reports in the journal Science describe what NASA’s MESSENGER probe — which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging — has found since it began circling Mercury in mid-March.