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MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury - images to be released at 10 a.m Sept 30 '09

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MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury - images to be released at 10 a.m Sept 30 '09

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Old 09-30-2009, 04:39 PM
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Default MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury - images to be released at 10 a.m Sept 30 '09

MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury


Shortly before 5:55 p.m. EDT, Sept 29, 2009, MESSENGER skimmed 228 kilometers (141 miles) above the surface of Mercury in its third and final flyby of the planet. Radio signals received after the spacecraft emerged from behind the planet indicate that the spacecraft is operating nominally. Its instruments are now collecting images and other scientific measurements from the planet as it departs Mercury.

Tonight at 9:34 p.m., the spacecraft will turn its high-gain antenna back toward Earth to start down linking real-time telemetry. Downlink of the data stored onboard will start two hours later. The first images from the flyby will be released around 10:00 a.m. on September 30, 2009. Additional information and features from this encounter will be available online at


Be sure to check back frequently to see the latest released images and science results!

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_flyby3.html



Highlights from Three Mercury Flybys

On Thursday, October 1, 2009, three MESSENGER team members – Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Project Manager Peter Bedini, of APL, and Co-Investigator Louise Prockter, of APL – will talk about what we’ve learned about Mercury from MESSENGER’s encounters with the planet, and release new pictures from the spacecraft’s third flyby of Mercury. The event, to be held at the Kossiakoff Center on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., will begin at 5 p.m.



MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) is a NASA-sponsored scientific investigation of the planet Mercury and the first space mission designed to orbit the planet closest to the Sun. The MESSENGER spacecraft launched on August 3, 2004, and after flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury will start a yearlong study of its target planet in March 2011. Dr. Sean C. Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, leads the mission as Principal Investigator. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory built and operates the MESSENGER spacecraft and manages this Discovery-class mission for NASA.
 

Last edited by stomper; 09-30-2009 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:56 AM
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credit of all images goes to NASA

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Last edited by Stealth; 10-01-2009 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:18 AM
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Caloris Basin

Impact Basin: Made by a large asteroid impact that punched into and through the crust 3.9 billion years ago leaving a huge ringed basin 1340 km in diameter.

Antipodes: At opposite side of Mercury from the Caloris Basin, jumbled terrain where seismic waves all converged from the asteroid impact on the opposite side.




 
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:44 AM
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Another possible punch through the crust asteroid hit.


"The double-ring basin is approximately 160 kilometers in diameter (100 miles)
.
This image shows a double-ring impact basin, with another large impact crater on its south-southwestern side. Smaller, more recent impacts formed comparatively fresh craters across the entire surface visible in this image. The floor within the inner or peak ring appears to be smoother than the floor between the peak ring and the outer rim, possibly the result of lava flows that partially flooded the basin some time after impact. Double-ring basins are formed when a large meteoroid strikes the surface of a rocky planet."
` NASA












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