TV News LIES

Thursday, May 07th

Last update11:59:31 PM GMT

You are here News Science Mercury: Messenger spacecraft scans dynamic planet

Mercury: Messenger spacecraft scans dynamic planet

Messenger spacecraft scans MercuryMercury, the solar system's smallest planet, has gained a yearlong visitor from Earth - a spacecraft named Messenger that mission controllers guided successfully into a long, looping orbit around the planet Thursday night after a six-year flight across 4.9 billion miles of space.

For the first time, Messenger's polar orbit will enable Earth-bound scientists to see and analyze the planet's entire surface continuously, from distances as close as 124 miles and as far off as 9,420 miles.

Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. It holds an enormous iron core. Its rugged surface has immense craters long bombarded by meteors and comets, and ancient volcanoes that stand above flat, volcanic plains of hardened lava. Its blazing, 800-degree summers and shadowed winters at 270 degrees below zero make observing it from close up a challenging task for the mission's scientists and engineers.

And according to Sean C. Solomon of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, the mission's chief scientist, Messenger's third and final fly-by of the planet in 2009 already has shown a wildly fluctuating and mysterious magnetic field.

"It looked as though we were seeing a complete collapse of the magnetic field," he said. "This is an incredibly dynamic magnetosphere."

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


Cosmic rays may damage brains of astronauts

Cosmic raysIt may not be space debris, errant asteroids, supply shortages, thruster malfunctions or even the malevolent...

'Bizarre' Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find

Jurassic dinosaur findFossil hunters in Chile have unearthed the remains of a bizarre Jurassic dinosaur that combined a...

Unmanned Russian supply craft out of control, plunging to Earth

Unmanned ISS cargo craftAn unmanned Russian spacecraft loaded with supplies for the International Space Station is spinning out of...

25 years later: Who got the Hubble telescope off the ground?

Hubble Space TelescopeOn the 25-year anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, Space.com talked with science...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!