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News About Mercury
October 15, 2014
Planets with Oddball Orbits Like Mercury Could Host Life
Moffet Field CA (NASA) Sep 29, 2014
Mercury has an oddball orbit - it takes longer for it to rotate on its axis and complete a day than it takes to orbit the sun and complete a year. Now, researchers suggest photosynthesis could take place on an alien planet with a similarly bizarre orbit, potentially helping support complex life. However, the scientists noted that the threat of prolonged periods of darkness and cold on these planets would present significant challenges to life, and could even potentially freeze their atmospheres. T ... read more

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12th Batch of Messenger Data Released; Water Ice Exploration Tool Unveiled
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MESSENGER Gets Closer to Mercury than Ever Before
On July 25, MESSENGER moved closer to Mercury than any spacecraft has before, dropping to an altitude at closest approach of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the planet's surface. "The sci ... more
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Bepicolombo Integration Testing Completed At Thales
Integration and functional testing activities for the protoflight models of the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter, Mercury Transfer Module, and Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Str ... more
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Planet Mercury a result of early hit-and-run collisions
Planet Mercury's unusual metal-rich composition has been a longstanding puzzle in planetary science. According to a study published online in Nature Geoscience July 6, Mercury and other unusually me ... more
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Messenger Spots Giant Space Weather Effects at Mercury
The solar wind of particles streaming off the sun helps drive flows and swirls in space as complicated as any terrestrial weather pattern. Scientists have now spotted at planet Mercury, for the firs ... more
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Mercury Passes in Front of the Sun, as Seen From Mars
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has imaged the planet Mercury passing in front of the sun, visible as a faint darkening that moves across the face of the sun. This is the first transit of the sun by a p ... more
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MESSENGER Completes Its 3,000th Orbit of Mercury, Sets Mark for Closest Approach
On April 20, MESSENGER completed its 3,000th orbit of Mercury and moved closer to the planet than any spacecraft has been before, dropping to an altitude of 199 kilometers (123.7 miles) above the pl ... more
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Ancient volcanic explosions shed light on Mercury's origins
The surface of Mercury crackled with volcanic explosions for extended periods of the planet's history, according to a new analysis led by researchers at Brown University. The findings are surprising ... more
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Mercury's contraction much greater than thought
New global imaging and topographic data from MESSENGER* show that the innermost planet has contracted far more than previous estimates. The results are based on a global study of more than 5,900 geo ... more
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Mercury contracted more than prior estimates
New evidence gathered by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury indicates the planet closest to the sun has shrunk up to 7 kilometers in radius over the past 4 billion years, much more than earlier ... more
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Mercury, the incredible shrinking planet
Beneath its Sun-scorched exterior, the planet Mercury is cooling, which is causing it to shrink ever so slightly, scientists said Sunday. ... more
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Eleventh MESSENGER Planetary Data System Release Is the Largest Yet
NASA requires that all of its planetary missions archive their data in the PDS, which provides well-documented, peer-reviewed data to the research community. The latest release of MESSENGER measurem ... more
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MESSENGER Surpasses 200,000 Orbital Images of Mercury
MESSENGER has now returned more than 200,000 images acquired from orbit about Mercury. The 1996 proposal for the mission promised a return of at least 1,000 images says Robert Gold, MESSENGER's Scie ... more
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MESSENGER Celebrates 1,000 Earth Days in Orbit around Mercury
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, ... more
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MESSENGER Detects Comets ISON and Encke, Prepares For Closer Encounters
NASA's Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft has captured images of two comets - 2P/Encke and C/2012 S1 (ISON) - setting the stage for observations later this month when both comets will be substa ... more
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MESSENGER to Capture Images of Earth and Moon During Search for Satellites of Mercury
NASA's Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft will capture images of Earth on July 19 and 20. The images will be taken at 7:49 a.m., 8:38 a.m. and 9:41 a.m. EDT on both days. Nearly half of the ... more
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New insights concerning the early bombardment history on Mercury
The surface of Mercury is rather different from those of well-known rocky bodies like the Moon and Mars. Early images from the Mariner 10 spacecraft unveiled a planet covered by smooth plains and cr ... more
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    NASA and Italian Space Agency Sign Agreement on Exploration of Mercury
    At a meeting in Rome Thursday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Enrico Saggese signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the European Space Ag ... more
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    IAU Approves New Names for Ten Major Fault Scarps on Mercury
    The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to 10 rupes, the long cliff-like escarpments that formed over major faults alo ... more
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    NASA Watches Solar Magnetic Field As MESSENGER Clocks Up 2000 Orbits
    MESSENGER began its 2,000th orbit around Mercury earlier this week, on May 22. The spacecraft completed its primary mission on March 17, 2012, and its first extended mission on March 17, 2013. The t ... more
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    A meteorite mystery from Mercury?
    Early in 2012, someone in Southern Morocco picked up 35 greenish stones, including the one shown above. Purchased by a dealer in Erfoud, Morocco, it was then resold to Stefan Ralew, a meteorite coll ... more
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    MESSENGER Completes Its First Extended Mission at Mercury
    On March 17, 2013, MESSENGER successfully completed its year-long first extended mission in orbit about Mercury, building on the groundbreaking scientific results from its earlier primary mission. ... more
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    The mercury rises for BepiColombo
    The engineering model of the BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module has completed a 12-day Sun-simulation test inside the Large Space Simulator at ESA's test centre in the Netherlands, where it receive ... more
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    Planetary Data System Releases MESSENGER Data from Third Mercury Solar Day
    NASA's Planetary Data System released a new data set collected during MESSENGER's thirteenth through eighteenth month in orbit around Mercury. With this release, images and measurements are now avai ... more
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    Mercury may have harbored an ancient magma ocean
    By analyzing Mercury's rocky surface, scientists have been able to partially reconstruct the planet's history over billions of years. Now, drawing upon the chemical composition of rock features on t ... more
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