Seared by a Sun shining ten times stronger than it does at Earth, Mercury is a burnt-out cinder, a roasted Moon-like world -- or is it? NASA's MESSENGER mission, the first orbiter of the smallest planet, has revealed a tumultuous volcanic past, enigmatic recent "hollows," and a dynamic exosphere. And it's chasing after clues from Earth-based radar surveys that Mercury could be hiding water ice in permanently shadowed craters near its poles.
Recent Blog Articles About Mercury
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/07/03 09:00 CDT
As MESSENGER flew past the night side of Mercury in January, its Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) scooped up ions from an atmosphere so tenuous that it's usually called an "exosphere."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/01/30 08:00 CST
Just two weeks after MESSENGER's first flyby of Mercury, the mission's science team presented their first impressions from the long-awaited second look at the innermost planet.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/01/10 08:00 CST
Mercury scientists' very long wait for new data from a spacecraft at Mercury will finally come to an end on Monday, when MESSENGER makes its first close approach to the innermost planet.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.