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Latest MESSENGER Stories

IAU Approves Nine Mercury Crater Names
2012-08-10 09:47:55

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A recently proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to nine impact craters on Mercury has been met with approval by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919. In keeping with the established theme of naming craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after deceased artists, musicians, authors or...

MESSENGER Marks 8th Anniversary Since Launch
2012-08-06 09:33:40

John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Eight years ago this month, in 2004, the MESSENGER space probe was launched on a six-and-a-half year, 4.9-billion mile journey to be the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury. The leisurely cruise included 15 trips around the Sun, a flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury. During its gravity assist swing-by of Earth, on August 2, 2005, Messenger´s cameras captured several hundred images of our...

2012-07-05 23:58:43

The findings have implications for the development of new anti-cancer drugs Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a series of intricate biochemical steps that lead to the successful production of proteins, the basic working units of any cell. The study, which appears in the July 6, 2012 edition of the journal Cell, sheds light on the assembly of a structure called the ribosome, a large and complex protein-producing machine inside all living...

2012-06-22 12:00:39

MESSENGER will complete its 1,000th orbit of the planet closest to the Sun at 11:22 p.m. EDT tonight. "Reaching this milestone is yet another testimony to the hard work and dedication of the full MESSENGER team that has designed, launched, and operated this highly successful spacecraft," says the mission trajectory lead Jim McAdams of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. The spacecraft was inserted into orbit around Mercury in mid-March 2011, after...

Mickey Mouse Seen On Mercury
2012-06-19 06:49:23

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's MESSENGER probe has sent back an image from Mercury that is either an alien's sense of humor, or a few asteroid's depiction of Mickey Mouse on the sun-baked planet. A Mickey Mouse face can now be seen on Mercury's surface thanks to NASA's MESSENGER probe, which became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet back in March 2011. The shape is made up of three overlapping craters on Mercury's southern hemisphere, northwest of the crater known as...

2012-05-23 11:25:27

MESSENGER scientists have concluded that waves driven by the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability play a key role in driving Mercury's magnetosphere. In a paper published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the team reports on frequent detections of such waves at the outer edge of the innermost planet's magnetosphere. The paper was selected as an Editor's Highlight by the journal editor, and its findings are scheduled to be featured as a Research Highlight in Eos, the weekly...

2012-05-09 07:59:44

Larry Nittler, a staff scientist in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has been named deputy principal investigator of the MESSENGER mission. MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of CIW, delivered the announcement this morning at the first plenary of the 26th meeting of the MESSENGER Science Team meeting in Vancouver, B.C. Solomon, a research scientist and director emeritus at CIW, has led NASA's orbiting exploration of the planet...

2012-05-04 03:23:13

This week, MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System delivered the 100,000th image of Mercury since the spacecraft entered into orbit around the planet on March 18, 2011. The instrument – one of seven aboard the spacecraft – has globally mapped the planet in high-resolution monochrome images and in color images through eight of its color filters, uncovering a new view of Mercury and shedding light on the planet's geologic history. "That our inventory of orbital images of Mercury...


Latest MESSENGER Reference Libraries

4_9748baf12fb7dd89aa4315d7732196cd2
2004-10-19 04:45:40

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...

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Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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