ASU professor Brett Denevi and UA professor Bob Strom are co-authors on a new study that found geologically young volcanic deposits in the Rachmaninoff peak ring basin (right) on Mercury.
The results are from the 3rd flyby of the planet by the Messenger spacecraft.
Previously the prevailing view was that Mercury has been geologically quiet since shortly after its formation. Now, the evidence indicates volcanic activity within the last billion years.
Evidence for Young Volcanism on Mercury from the Third MESSENGER Flyby, Louise M. Prockter, Carolyn M. Ernst, Brett W. Denevi, Clark R. Chapman, James W. Head, III, Caleb I. Fassett, William J. Merline, Sean C. Solomon, Thomas R. Watters, Robert G. Strom, Gabriele Cremonese, Simone Marchi, Matteo Massironi, Published Online July 15, 2010 Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1188186