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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2012-06-23
    Description: Shackleton crater is nearly coincident with the Moon's south pole. Its interior receives almost no direct sunlight and is a perennial cold trap, making Shackleton a promising candidate location in which to seek sequestered volatiles. However, previous orbital and Earth-based radar mapping and orbital optical imaging have yielded conflicting interpretations about the existence of volatiles. Here we present observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, revealing Shackleton to be an ancient, unusually well-preserved simple crater whose interior walls are fresher than its floor and rim. Shackleton floor deposits are nearly the same age as the rim, suggesting that little floor deposition has occurred since the crater formed more than three billion years ago. At a wavelength of 1,064 nanometres, the floor of Shackleton is brighter than the surrounding terrain and the interiors of nearby craters, but not as bright as the interior walls. The combined observations are explicable primarily by downslope movement of regolith on the walls exposing fresher underlying material. The relatively brighter crater floor is most simply explained by decreased space weathering due to shadowing, but a one-micrometre-thick layer containing about 20 per cent surficial ice is an alternative possibility.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Zuber, Maria T -- Head, James W -- Smith, David E -- Neumann, Gregory A -- Mazarico, Erwan -- Torrence, Mark H -- Aharonson, Oded -- Tye, Alexander R -- Fassett, Caleb I -- Rosenburg, Margaret A -- Melosh, H Jay -- England -- Nature. 2012 Jun 20;486(7403):378-81. doi: 10.1038/nature11216.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA. zuber@mit.edu〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22722197" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2012-03-23
    Description: Laser altimetry by the MESSENGER spacecraft has yielded a topographic model of the northern hemisphere of Mercury. The dynamic range of elevations is considerably smaller than those of Mars or the Moon. The most prominent feature is an extensive lowland at high northern latitudes that hosts the volcanic northern plains. Within this lowland is a broad topographic rise that experienced uplift after plains emplacement. The interior of the 1500-km-diameter Caloris impact basin has been modified so that part of the basin floor now stands higher than the rim. The elevated portion of the floor of Caloris appears to be part of a quasi-linear rise that extends for approximately half the planetary circumference at mid-latitudes. Collectively, these features imply that long-wavelength changes to Mercury's topography occurred after the earliest phases of the planet's geological history.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Zuber, Maria T -- Smith, David E -- Phillips, Roger J -- Solomon, Sean C -- Neumann, Gregory A -- Hauck, Steven A 2nd -- Peale, Stanton J -- Barnouin, Olivier S -- Head, James W -- Johnson, Catherine L -- Lemoine, Frank G -- Mazarico, Erwan -- Sun, Xiaoli -- Torrence, Mark H -- Freed, Andrew M -- Klimczak, Christian -- Margot, Jean-Luc -- Oberst, Jurgen -- Perry, Mark E -- McNutt, Ralph L Jr -- Balcerski, Jeffrey A -- Michel, Nathalie -- Talpe, Matthieu J -- Yang, Di -- New York, N.Y. -- Science. 2012 Apr 13;336(6078):217-20. doi: 10.1126/science.1218805. Epub 2012 Mar 21.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. zuber@mit.edu〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22438510" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2012-03-23
    Description: Radio tracking of the MESSENGER spacecraft has provided a model of Mercury's gravity field. In the northern hemisphere, several large gravity anomalies, including candidate mass concentrations (mascons), exceed 100 milli-Galileos (mgal). Mercury's northern hemisphere crust is thicker at low latitudes and thinner in the polar region and shows evidence for thinning beneath some impact basins. The low-degree gravity field, combined with planetary spin parameters, yields the moment of inertia C/MR(2) = 0.353 +/- 0.017, where M and R are Mercury's mass and radius, and a ratio of the moment of inertia of Mercury's solid outer shell to that of the planet of C(m)/C = 0.452 +/- 0.035. A model for Mercury's radial density distribution consistent with these results includes a solid silicate crust and mantle overlying a solid iron-sulfide layer and an iron-rich liquid outer core and perhaps a solid inner core.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Smith, David E -- Zuber, Maria T -- Phillips, Roger J -- Solomon, Sean C -- Hauck, Steven A 2nd -- Lemoine, Frank G -- Mazarico, Erwan -- Neumann, Gregory A -- Peale, Stanton J -- Margot, Jean-Luc -- Johnson, Catherine L -- Torrence, Mark H -- Perry, Mark E -- Rowlands, David D -- Goossens, Sander -- Head, James W -- Taylor, Anthony H -- New York, N.Y. -- Science. 2012 Apr 13;336(6078):214-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1218809. Epub 2012 Mar 21.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22438509" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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