Journal Highlights

Revised constraints on absolute age limits for Mercury's Kuiperian and Mansurian Stratigraphic Systems

Editor’s Highlight—


The authors of this paper utilize observations of impact craters on the surface of Mercury in order to investigate the absolute timing of the most recent epochs in the planet's history. By characterizing and cataloging the population of the two freshest sets of impact craters and comparing their observations with models of crater formation, they set new bounds for the oldest boundaries in each of these epochs, the Mansurian and the Kuiperian. In both cases, these time periods are more recent than previously presumed through analogy to the time scale on the Earth’s Moon. The recognition of a younger age for these epochs has important implications for the recency of volcanism and tectonics on the planet closest to the Sun.