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Messenger

Space

MESSENGER spacecraft provides first global topographical model of Mercury

Using data captured by NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, a team of scientists has constructed the first complete digital elevation model (DEM) of the planet Mercury. The newly-released map reveals the geographical highs and lows of the innermost planet in our solar system, as well as highlighting a number of fascinating surface characteristics.Read More

Space

Mercury's dark secret

NASA's MEcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft (MESSENGER) may have burned up last year, but the data it gathered before its demise is still being put to good use. Scientists have used the information to reveal the secret behind the dark appearance of Mercury's surface, with the results partially contradicting a recently proposed theory on the matter.Read More

Space

New study reveals that Mercury experiences yearly meteor showers

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.Read More

Space

MESSENGER shows Mercury's magnetic field to be almost 4 billion years old

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. Read More

Space

NASA'S MESSENGER mission finishes with a bang

NASA'S MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has ended its phenomenally successful mission in the most fitting manner imaginable. The probe, which had maintained a lonely vigil over the desolate planet for more than four years, smashed into the surface of Mercury, the planet that had surrendered countless secrets to the robotic explorer this Thursday at 3:26:02 pm EDT. Read More

Space

MESSENGER uses helium for last minute reprieve

Now orbiting the planet Mercury after over ten years in space, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is still functioning better than expected. Its mission will soon come to an end though – it's running out of fuel and is scheduled to crash into the planet in March. However, mission control have come up with a novel plan that will use the helium used to pressurize the unmanned probe's engine to give it another month of life. Read More

Space

MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers

Sit out on a clear summer's night and the odds are that you'll be treated to a meteor shower that's the remnant of a comet's passing. However, such showers are not peculiar to our planet. NASA's unmanned MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter has uncovered evidence that the planet Mercury is subject to the same sort of periodic meteor showers as the Earth, only instead of a light show, it produces a spike in calcium in the planet's exosphere.Read More

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