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Topic: NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Obiter

NASA discovers Meteoriods from Comet Encke showering planet Mercury

 

Written by Mark Bailey and Apostolos Christou
Armagh Observatory,

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNorthern Ireland – The planet Mercury is being pelted regularly by bits of dust from an ancient comet, a new study has concluded. This has a discernible effect in the planet’s tenuous atmosphere and may lead to a new paradigm on how these airless bodies maintain their ethereal envelopes.

The findings are to be presented at the annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society at National Harbor, Maryland, this week, by Apostolos Christou at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, Rosemary Killen at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Matthew Burger of Morgan State University in Baltimore, working at Goddard.

Mercury appears to undergo a recurring meteoroid shower when its orbit crosses the debris trail left by comet Encke. (Artist's concept.) (NASA/Goddard)

Mercury appears to undergo a recurring meteoroid shower when its orbit crosses the debris trail left by comet Encke. (Artist’s concept.) (NASA/Goddard)

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NASA to explore the mysteries of Mars with Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Orbiter

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Billions of years ago when the planets of our solar system were still young, Mars was a very different world. Liquid water flowed in long rivers that emptied into lakes and shallow seas. A thick atmosphere blanketed the planet and kept it warm.

In this cozy environment, living microbes might have found a home, starting Mars down the path toward becoming a second life-filled planet next door to our own.

But that’s not how things turned out.

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