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young

When used to describe a planetary surface "young" means that the visible features are of relatively recent origin, i.e. that older features have been destroyed (e.g. by erosion or lava flows). Young surfaces exhibit few impact craters and are typically varied and complex. In contrast an "old" surface is one that has changed relatively little over geologic time. The surfaces of Earth and Io are young; the surfaces of Mercury and Callisto are old.

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Last Updated: 25 Oct 2013