Scientists operating the NASA MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter announce the discovery of important amounts of sulfur and sulfur-enriched minerals inside the southern half of the Vivaldi basin, on the surface of Mercury.
The spacecraft, which achieved orbital insertion around the planet on March 18, 2011, also detected magnesium right on the surface. Mercury is the innermost planet in our solar system, completing a full orbit in just 88 days, and MESSENGER is the first spacecraft ever to orbit it.
According to experts at NASA, the image above was collected by the spacecraft on August 26. Full details of an analysis effort centered on this photograph, and many others like it, will appear in an upcoming issue of the esteemed Journal of Geophysical Research, Universe Today