Friday 1 February 2008

Messenger Spacecraft From Mercury Reveals; The Spider

Are these stress lines from cataclysmic impact or might they be the collapsing or imploding zone of Mercury since the scientists have determined the planet to be shrinking ?

Near the center of the Caloris Basin on Mercury the MESSENGER spacecraft's cameras have captured a unique planetary feature which the Science team have nicknamed the spider .........

A set of troughs radiates outward in a geometry. The radial troughs are interpreted to be the result of extension (breaking apart) of the floor materials that filled the Caloris basin after its formation. Other troughs near the center form a polygonal pattern. This type of polygonal pattern of troughs is also seen along the interior margin of the Caloris basin. An impact crater about 40 km (~25 miles) in diameter appears to be centered on “the spider.” The straight-line segments of the crater walls may have been influenced by preexisting extensional troughs, but some of the troughs may have formed at the time that the crater was excavated.

Huh, the crater was excavated ?

I also wondered if Mercury is coloured black and white ?

Or, did cost cutting measures by JPL exclude a color camera ?

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