A Caltech Library Service

Mercury's Surface: Preliminary Description and Interpretation from Mariner 10 Pictures

Murray, Bruce C. and Belton, Michael J. S. and Danielson, G. Edward and Davies, Merton E. and Gault, Donald E. and Hapke, Bruce and O'Leary, Brian and Strom, Robert G. and Suomi, Verner and Trask, Newell (1974) Mercury's Surface: Preliminary Description and Interpretation from Mariner 10 Pictures. Science, 185 (4146). pp. 169-179. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.185.4146.169.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The surface morphology and optical properties of Mercury resemble those of the moon in remarkable detail and record a very similar sequence of events. Chemical and mineralogical similarity of the outer layers of Mercury and the moon is implied; Mercury is probably a differentiated planet with a large iron-rich core. Differentiation is inferred to have occurred very early. No evidence of atmospheric modification of landforms has been found. Large-scale scarps and ridges unlike lunar or martian features may reflect a unique period of planetary compression near the end of heavy bombardment by small planetesimals.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received June 5, 1974. We gratefully acknowledge the support and encouragement of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and specifically the untiring support of W. Cunningham and S. Dwornik, the Program Manager and Program Scientist, respectively. We extend sincere appreciation and thanks to the many individuals at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Boeing Company, who contributed to the success of Mariner 10. Valuable contributions to this report were made by our television team associates, Dr. A. Dollfus of l'Observatoire de Paris, J. L. Anderson of California Institute of Technology, R. Toombs of JPL, and Dr. J. Guest of the University of London Observatory. J. Soha, JPL, expertly chose optimum parameters for image processing; W. Sowers, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Arizona, constructed essential mosaics of the many images; M. Malin and D. Dzurisin, California Institute of Technology, and K. Klaasen of JPL provided important data and suggestions; G. Aoyagi, Ames Research Center, counted craters with precision and patience. The manuscript benefited from suggestions and criticism by Dr. J. Dunne, JPL, Prof. G. J. Wasserburg, California Institute of Technology, Prof. G. Wetherill, University of California, Los Angeles, and Dr. J. F. McCauley, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Arizona. The Kitt Peak National Observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under contract with the National Science Foundation. Contribution number 2499 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences2499
Issue or Number:4146
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151112-082856291
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Mercury's Surface: Preliminary Description and Interpretation from Mariner 10 Pictures Bruce C. Murray, Michael J. S. Belton, G. Edward Danielson, Merton E. Davies, Donald E. Gault, Bruce Hapke, Brian O'Leary, Robert G. Strom, Verner Suomi, and Newell Trask Science 12 July 1974: 185 (4146), 169-179. [DOI:10.1126/science.185.4146.169]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62068
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Nov 2015 20:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page