Latest Geology of Mercury Stories
Ten years ago, on August 3, 2004, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a risky mission that would take the small satellite dangerously close to Mercury’s surface, paving the way for an ambitious study of the planet closest to the Sun.
NASA has recently discovered a very strange planet. Its days are twice as long as its years. It has a tail like a comet. It is hot enough to melt lead, yet capped by deposits of ice. And to top it all off ... it appears to be pink.
Seven years ago, on August 3, 2004, MESSENGER left Earth aboard a three-stage Boeing Delta II rocket to begin a journey that would take it more than 15 laps through the solar system, through six planetary flybys, and ultimately into orbit around Mercury.
On May 6th, MESSENGER began its 100th orbit around Mercury.
The solar system's innermost planets are about to put on a beautiful show.
The planets Mercury and Venus will put on a good show for skywatchers throughout April, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.
WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA spacecraft gliding over the surface of Mercury has revealed that the planet's atmosphere, the interaction of its surrounding magnetic field with the solar wind, and its geological past display greater levels of activity than scientists first suspected.
It is now only slightly more than three weeks before the MESSENGER spacecraft flies by Mercury for the second time.
Scientists have argued about the origins of Mercury's smooth plains and the source of its magnetic field for more than 30 years.