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This is an image of wrinkle ridges on the surface of Mercury. The photograph was taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft.
Courtesy of NASA.

Wrinkle Ridges

Wrinkle ridges on the surface of Mercury are thought to have been caused by the shrinking of the surface following the cooling and shrinking of the core of the planet. As the core cooled and shrank, the surface was forced to shrink also, developing ridges which are scatterred across the planet.

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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more

Evolution of Mercury

Mercury, like the other planets, is believed to have formed in the earliest stage of the evolution of the solar system as dust came together to form even larger clumps and eventually small planets or...more

Surface Features of Mercury

The surface of Mercury has numerous interesting features, including a variety of craters, ridges, and terrains ranging from heavily cratered to nearly crater free. These features, and their location across...more

Surface of Mercury

Images of the surface of Mercury obtained by Mariner 10 showed a planet covered with craters, looking very much like the Earth's Moon. During its three passes by the planet, Mariner 10 took pictures of...more

The Caloris Basin

The Caloris Basin is the largest feature on the surface of Mercury. This crater was formed by the impact of a large meteorite in the early formation of the solar system. We only know what half of the...more

Mercury's Craters

A wide variety of craters ranging in size from 100 meters to 1300 km across can be seen in the Mariner 10 images of Mercury's surface. These include: (1) craters in young terrain, (2) double craters,...more

Wrinkle Ridges

Wrinkle ridges on the surface of Mercury are thought to have been caused by the shrinking of the surface following the cooling and shrinking of the core of the planet. As the core cooled and shrank, the...more

Mercury's Interior and Surface

Mercury, the innermost planet of the solar system, is a little bigger than the Earth's Moon. The surface of the planet is covered with craters, like the Moon, but temperatures there can reach over 80...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA