By Pamela Elizabeth Clark
We are in a time of transition in our realizing of Mercury. Of specific curiosity this is the rising photo of the planet as a approach, with interactions among inside, floor, exosphere, and magnetosphere that experience inspired and limited the evolution of every a part of the process. past books have emphasised the result of Mariner 10 and present ground-based measurements, with little or no dialogue of the character and impact of the magnetosphere. This e-book will current the planet within the context of its atmosphere, hence delivering a origin for the subsequent significant inflow of knowledge from Mercury and contributing to the making plans for destiny missions.
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Additional info for Dynamic Planet: Mercury in the Context of Its Environment
Two at Venus, and three at Mercury, the spacecraft will undergo orbital insertion, during its fourth encounter with Mercury, in 2011. The, nearly polar, twelve-hour orbit planned has a high northern latitude periapsis near the terminator. It is highly elliptical, with an altitude that ranges from 200 to 400 km at periapsis to 11,000 km at apoapsis (Figure 25). Although this configuration will allow 360 degree coverage in the northern hemisphere over the course of the mission, Messenger’s orbit, with its high ellipticity and poor illumination at periapsis, is not ideal for spectrometers, which require solar illumination, and will thus provide only low resolution coverage of the southern hemisphere.
At closest approach, the spacecraft was 700 kilometers above the unilluminated hemisphere. A search for a tenuous neutral atmosphere was conducted during this pass by monitoring the extinction of solar EUV radiation and by observing thermal infra-red emission from a favorable (dark) ground-track. Mariner-10 passed through a region in which the Earth is occulted by Mercury (as viewed from the spacecraft) and this permitted use of a dual-frequency (X- and S-band) radio occultation probe to search for an ionosphere and to measure the radius of the planet.
Accumulation of Mercury from planetesimals. In Mercury, Eds. F. Vilas, Chapman, and Matthews (U. Arizona Press) 670-691, 1988. A. V. Johnson, Physical and Orbital Properties of the Sun and Planets, in Encyclopedia of the Solar System (Publ. Academic Press), p. 961, 1999. , Thermal History and Early Magmatism of the Moon, Icarus, 16, 2, 229, 1972. 1. 12 19 SOME QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What has been the influence of observations of extra solar systems on prevailing paradigms for planetary formation?