TV News LIES

Thursday, Jul 31st

Last update06:58:58 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...


NASA says it's very close to finding alien life

alien lifeAt a panel discussion on the search for alien life, held this week at NASA's headquarters...

Nasa launches satellite to track CO2 in the atmosphere

NASA satelliteA rocket carrying a Nasa satellite lit up the pre-dawn skies Wednesday on a mission to...

DNA testing proves the Yeti is actually a prehistoric polar bear, scientist says

Yetil. That means the Abominable Snowman might be an ancient polar bear.The Yeti is real —...

Astronomers spot diamond the size of Earth

Earth sized diamons-A newly observed white dwarf star may be the coldest ever discovered. The dead star is...
 
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!