From March 2011 through April 2015, the MESSENGER spacecraft orbited Mercury and acquired data from a suite of instruments designed to work in the extreme environment near the Sun. These instruments returned the first data from Mercury orbit and facilitated groundbreaking discoveries that improved, and at times changed, our understanding about the composition and structure of Mercury’s crust and interior, it’s geologic history and impact cratering record, and the nature of its active magnetosphere and tenuous atmosphere. In this talk I will present some of the top science results and discuss in detail my ongoing investigations of the volcanic character and impact cratering history of Mercury, as well as briefly mention some of the outstanding science questions that may be addressed by the BepiColombo mission.
Speaker: Lillian Ostrach, USGS
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