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MESSENGER returns to mercury

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posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 08:26 PM
Yes, everyone, I am excited about this flyby, MESSENGER, that if the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging probe, which flew by on January this year, is scheduled to conduct a second flyby on October 6th.

The reason why I am so excited about this is,

The second flyby is expected to yield even more surprises. A laser altimeter on the spacecraft will measure the planet's topography, allowing scientists, for the first time, to correlate high-resolution topography measurements with high-resolution images. At the same time, MESSENGER's sensors will analyze the chemical and mineralogical composition of Mercury's surface.

One of the surprises of the previous flyby are the dark halos found on the surface,

The two craters at the bottom of the frame are located in Mercury's giant Caloris Basin, a thousand mile wide depression formed billions of years ago when Mercury collided with a comet or asteroid. For scale, the larger of the two is about 40 miles wide. Both craters have dark rims or "halos" and the one on the left is partially filled with an unknown shiny material.

Heres a link,

And the other surprises are,

MESSENGER encountered Mercury's sodium-rich exospheric "tail" which extends more than 25,000 miles from the planet and also discovered a hydrogen tail of similar dimensions.

Turning to Mercury's magnetic field, MESSENGER found it to be different compared to Mariner 10 observations 30 years ago. While the magnetic field was generally quiet (no magnetic storms) on Jan. 14th, it showed several signs of significant internal pressure. Additional flybys by MESSENGER in late 2008 and 2009 plus a yearlong orbital phase beginning in 2011 will shed more light on the stability and dynamics of Mercury's magnetic cocoon.

Here's the link,

And the main release link, 127173

posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 08:33 PM
Oh, very cool man! Starred and flagged!

"Unknown silvery substance" just sounds ominous...but cool!

Thanks for the links, I'm going to go check those out!


[edit on 10/1/2008 by Cuhail]

posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 08:39 PM
reply to post by Cuhail

Thanks, hope you enjoyed it.

This is not a one liner.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 03:55 AM
nice post very interesting. I'm sure we'll start finding anomalies on this planet very soon

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 05:24 AM

Originally posted by wellsybelieves
nice post very interesting. I'm sure we'll start finding anomalies on this planet very soon

Yes, we can expect surely, all the planets have anomalies in them, and mercury is no exception.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 10:15 AM
I think we'd find an anomalous ridge on a marble if we looked hard enough peacejet

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