SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Ares Dent, Moon Geyser, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Ares Dent, Moon Geyser, More
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November 3, 2009--Newly released pictures from the third and final flyby of NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury, including the colorized image above, reveal surprisingly young volcanic features on the small, rocky planet.

A deep, oddly shaped depression--seen here surrounded by a yellow halo in the upper right--was likely created by a violent volcanic eruption, scientists say. (Related: "Tiny Mercury Had Huge Volcanic Eruptions, Probe Finds.")

In addition, the double-ringed volcanic basin seen near the middle of this picture appears to be just a billion years old, which would make it evidence for some of the most recent volcanic activity known to have occurred on Mercury.
—Image courtesy NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
 
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