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Topic: NASA’s Messenger

NASA reports Comet Encke and Comet ISON to Fly the planet Mercury

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – What are the odds? On November 18th and 19th not one but two comets will fly by the planet Mercury.

“This is a unique coincidence,” says Ron Vervack an astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and a member of the science team for NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, “and a golden opportunity to study two comets passing close to the sun.”

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NASA says Mercury to give two week sunset show during February

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – 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.

The planet is Mercury.

Of course, astronomers have known about Mercury for thousands of years, but since NASA’s MESSENGER probe went into orbit around Mercury in 2011, researchers feel like they’ve been discovering the innermost planet all over again.

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Strange Hollows Discovered on Mercury

 

Written by Dauna Coulter
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has discovered strange hollows on the surface of Mercury. Images taken from orbit reveal thousands of peculiar depressions at a variety of longitudes and latitudes, ranging in size from 60 feet to over a mile across and 60 to 120 feet deep. No one knows how they got there.

“These hollows were a major surprise,” says David Blewett, science team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “We’ve been thinking of Mercury as a relic – a place that’s really not changing much anymore, except by impact cratering. But the hollows appear to be younger than the craters in which they are found, and that means Mercury’s surface is still evolving in a surprising way.”

Hollows inside the Raditladi impact basin. (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Hollows inside the Raditladi impact basin. (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

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