Latest MESSENGER Stories
With some inspiration by the Cassini team's plans to image the Earth on July 19, scientists working with NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury are preparing to catch the Earth in a series of images taken of natural satellites around the Sun's closest planet.
According to an analysis of images provided by NASA's Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER, a period of heavy volcanic activity gave Mercury a makeover about 4 billion years ago, erasing the first 400 to 500 million years of its history.
Recently, the MESSENGER Science Team proposed names for 10 rupes on Mercury. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since 1919, approved the names.
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The Planet Mercury -- in astronomy, nearest planet to the sun, at a mean distance of 36 million mi (58 million km); its period of revolution is 88 days. Mercury passes through phases similar to those of the moon as it completes each revolution about the sun, although the visible disk varies in size with respect to its distance from the earth. Because its greatest elongation is 28, it is seen only for a short time after sunset or before sunrise. Since observation of Mercury is...
- a slit in a tire to drain away surface water and improve traction.
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