36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 39 Mercury, Moon, and Venus
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[39.05] Radar Imaging of Mercury

M. Rice (Wellesley College), J. Harmon (Arecibo Observatory)

Radar images of the entire Mercurian surface have been created using the Arecibo S-band radar (wavelength 12.6cm) and the long code delay-Doppler method. We have mapped the locations of midlatitude radar-bright craters across all longitudes, and in the Mariner-10 imaged hemisphere we find several disagreements between the features that appear freshest in the unpolarized radar images and those that have been classified as most recent in the USGS geologic maps. All USGS c5 craters correspond to bright features in our same-circular polarized radar images; however, several c1 and c2 craters have radar-bright deposits as well. In our radar maps of the Skinakas Basin region of the Mariner-10 unimaged hemisphere, we find little agreement between the proposed basin rim locations and the radar features. We have mapped the south polar region using new data from April 2004 with a sub-Earth latitude of 4.5S, this being our first chance to view the south pole since the Arecibo telescope upgrade. We confirm the locations of features seen in the pre-upgrade maps and we identify 15 new “ice” features extending to latitudes as low as 73S. All south polar features have circular polarization inversions (average SC/OC=1.38) that are consistent with volume scattering off cold-trapped volatiles. We also present a preliminary analysis of our August 2004 observations, including new radar images of “Feature C” (the strongest echo feature in the Mariner-10 unimaged hemisphere) and of the north polar region. This research was funded by the NSF as part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mrice@wellesley.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.