reply to post by uSNUUZuLUUz
I am always fascinated by new explorations in our near by space. There is just something which automaticaly inspires awe, about the idea that
something built by hands of mortals can be cast unto the heavens to do mans bidding , well out of his physical reach.
Regarding the likelihood of some drastic discovery of extra terrestrial life on Mercury, I have to be blunt about this, I hold very little hope or
expectation of any such thing coming to pass. For one thing, although its true that here on Earth we are finding new extremophile lifeforms every so
often, which defy our thinking about how life forms very often, where Mercury is concerned I just feel that would be too much of a stretch.
Although its possible of course, since the solar winds there are deflected by a magnetosphere , similar to our own here on Earth, but the
magnetosphere does something with regularity on Mercury , that it does NOT do here on Earth.
Mercury has a leaky magnetic field, in that rather than covering the whole planet evenly and strongly, the magnetic field of Mercury can be whipped
up into a vortex, creating an opening in the magnetosphere which allows access to the surface of Mercury by the solar wind. Similar tornadoes of
magnetism happen here on Earth as well, but the chances of a " magnetic reconnection" happening here are ten or so times less likely than they are
to occur on Mercury.
With magnetic flux occuring and solar wind pounding through it to radiate the surface of the planet, it is highly unlikely that any life of note
could reside there.
Further to that, there is the relatively thin atmosphere. In actual fact calling it an atmosphere is somewhat overstating the issue, because Mercury
has more of a thin shroud , only loosely bonded to its surface. In fact some say that the only reason it appears to have anything of an exosphere at
all, is that comets bash gases out of the surface, and the solar wind deposits helium and hydrogen as it blows past, funneling down those fluxing
tubes of magnetic energy I refered to earlier.
Based on all this , I would say that in my opinion (although I could be wrong) there is little to no hope of finding anything staggering on Mercury,
apart of course, from all the amazing things humanity usualy plunders from its neighbors. Dirt samples, "atmospheric readings" , and seismic data,
as well as all those stunning photographs.