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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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ScienceShot: World of Fire
3 July 2013 1:00 pm
Cratered Mercury (inset) won't win any beauty prizes, but it sure had a colorful past. Thanks to the Messenger spacecraft, which began orbiting the world in March 2011, planetary scientists have been able to count craters over Mercury's entire surface. The crater counts help gauge the age of different terrains, because older regions have suffered more impacts. In the main image, the most heavily cratered regions—such as the one surrounded by the black contour—are colored red. By extrapolating from the moon, where Apollo astronauts retrieved rocks that scientists dated, the researchers concluded in this week's Nature that lava flooded all of Mercury 4.0 to 4.1 billion years ago; the global volcanism ended 300 to 400 million years later. This period coincides with the Late Heavy Bombardment, a torrential rain of asteroids that pummeled the planets, suggesting the collisions may have triggered the widespread lava flows that marked Mercury's youth.
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