November 12, 2015
According to a new study, the planet Mercury experiences regular meteor showers at roughly the same time each year, as it moves through a trail of dust thrown off by the ancient comet Encke. The work was presented at the annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society at National Harbor, Maryland.
Around one week after it smashed spectacularly into Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER probe has posthumously turned up valuable observations revealing some of the planet's long-held secrets. Using data gleaned from the spacecraft's closest pass of the planet earlier this year, scientists have established its magnetic field to be almost 4 billion years old, shedding new light on how Mercury has evolved over its 4.5 billion year lifespan.