Latest Sean Solomon Stories

2014-03-17 04:40:53

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has uncovered evidence that Mercury has contracted far more than previously believed over the past four billion years, according to research appearing in Sunday’s edition of the journal Nature Geoscience. In fact, lead author and Carnegie Institution of Washington planetary geologist Paul K. Byrne and colleagues analyzed global imaging and topographic data from the US space agency-sponsored mission...

MESSENGER Spacecraft Completes 1,000 Earth Days Orbiting Mercury
2013-12-12 07:50:42

MESSENGER Later today, the MESSENGER spacecraft will have completed 1,000 Earth days of flight operations in orbit around Mercury. "This milestone is a testament to the outstanding work of those who designed, tested, and operated this spacecraft," says Jim McAdams of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the lead engineer for MESSENGER's mission design team. "MESSENGER was designed to function for eight years following launch and to withstand the harsh...

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...

2011-03-12 07:10:00

A small NASA spacecraft called Messenger will enter into the orbit of the planet Mercury on St. Patrick 's Day, circling as close as 125 miles from the rocky planet's surface and revealing parts of Mercury never before seen by human eyes. Coincidentally, a few days earlier will be the best time this year for people here on Earth to see Mercury with the naked eye, the Associated Press reported. Despite being the planet closest to the sun, some scientists believe Mercury contains tons of ice in...

2009-12-03 15:57:35

Hawaii may be paradise for vacationers, but for geologists it has long been a puzzle. Plate tectonic theory readily explains the existence of volcanoes at boundaries where plates split apart or collide, but mid-plate volcanoes such as those that built the Hawaiian island chain have been harder to fit into the theory. A classic explanation, proposed nearly 40 years ago, has been that magma is supplied to the volcanoes from upwellings of hot rock, called mantle "plumes," that originate deep in...

2009-04-30 15:00:00

NASA's live media teleconference held earlier today included a panel of experts working on the U.S. space program's MESSENGER instrument that discussed new data and findings revealed by the planet Mercury's makeup. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft's second flyby of the planet in October 2008 showed that the planet's atmosphere, magnetosphere, and geological past are all characterized by much greater levels of activity than astronomers...

2008-12-12 13:21:44

Members of the MESSENGER science team will present a range of new findings from the spacecraft's studies of the planet Mercury during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting next week in San Francisco. "The principal goal of the MESSENGER mission is to gather global observations of Mercury from orbit about the planet, beginning in 2011, but our first two flybys produced a wonderful abundance of new information about the least known of our sister planets," says MESSENGER Principal...

2008-09-23 11:10:00

As NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft prepares for its second flyby of Mercury, new analyses of data from the first flyby will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Mnster on Tuesday 23rd September. Dr Sean Solomon, MESSENGER's Principal Investigator, will present a model that suggests that the origin of the Pantheon Fossae, a radiating web of troughs located in the giant Caloris Basin, is directly linked to an impact crater at the centre of the web. The Caloris Basin is the...

2007-06-05 12:50:00

Picture this: A spaceship swoops in from the void, plunging toward a cloudy planet about the size of Earth. A laser beam lances out from the ship; it probes the planet's clouds, striving to reach the hidden surface below. Meanwhile, back on the craft's home world, scientists perch on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens. Sounds like science fiction? This is real, and it's happening today. The spacecraft is MESSENGER, and the planet is Venus. On June 5, 2007, MESSENGER will fly...

Word of the Day
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.