The sun and Mercury (not to scale)
Panther Media GmbH / Alamy
Mercury’s surface may be covered in a very thin, baked crust created by the extreme heat from the planet’s proximity to the sun.
Like Earth’s moon, Mercury’s surface lacks a substantial atmosphere, meaning impacts should break down its surface into a thin powder over time. However, Mikhail Kreslavsky at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues have found a key difference between the two bodies.
The team looked through thousands of images of Mercury’s surface taken by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft …