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Mercury Science
Greg Hullender
post Feb 3 2011, 03:44 PM
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Quite easily. Mercury at Aphelion should be about 39 kps. Mariner X was 55 kps. Your probe would be 58 kps.

As before, someone should double-check this before you reply on it to actually launch something. :-) I used this formula from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_mechanics#Velocity


--Greg
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tasp
post Feb 3 2011, 04:12 PM
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Wow.

That is getting right up there.

Appreciate the calculations. Gives a vivid idea of the challenges in navigating that region of the solar system. All those sharp, unblurred Mariner 10 pictures are quite an achievement, considering the flyby speed.

(I am not likely to be sending any of my own spacecraft on this trajectory, the Legos would melt)
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 21 2011, 09:15 PM
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Not much action on here, but every workday there's a new image from MESSENGER. Here I have joined two nice color images of the Tolstoj area.

Phil

Attached Image


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Ant103
post Jul 21 2011, 09:46 PM
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Wow ! It looks like a deep field with many galaxies, nebulas and stars. Magnificent !


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CAP-Team
post Jul 22 2011, 09:27 AM
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Reminds me of Callisto
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Explorer1
post Jul 28 2011, 05:03 AM
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First burn in orbit around Mercury (ever!)

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/details.php?id=177
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peter59
post Jul 28 2011, 06:02 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Jul 28 2011, 05:03 AM) *
First burn in orbit around Mercury (ever!)

Second.
First burn Messenger successfully completed June 15, 2011
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/details.php?id=173



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Free software for planetary science (including Cassini Image Viewer).
http://members.tripod.com/petermasek/marinerall.html
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 28 2011, 03:29 PM
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Another composite of two images from the big color basemap now being compiled.

Phil

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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Phil Stooke
post Aug 17 2011, 03:01 PM
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A comparison of presumably vent-like structures on Mercury and the Moon at the same scale. The Mercury pic was part of the press conference on JUne 16th, where it was captioned 'Etched Terrain"

Phil

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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Dysgraphyk
post Dec 11 2013, 02:53 PM
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New results on mercury shrinkage discussed in at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, yesterday :

QUOTE
Studies of Mercury show that it has shrunk by about 11 kilometres across since the Solar System's fiery birth 4.5 billion years ago. As the planet cooled and contracted, it became scarred with long curved ridges similar to the wrinkles on a rotting apple.

A new census of these ridges, called lobate scarps, has found more of them, with steeper faces, than ever before. The discovery suggests that Mercury shrank by far more than the previous estimate of 2-3 kilometres, says Paul Byrne, a planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC. He presented the results today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California.

The finding helps explain how Mercury's huge metallic core cooled off over time. It may also finally reconcile theoretical scientists, who had predicted a lot of shrinkage, with observers who had not found evidence of that — until now. “We are resolving a four-decades-old conflict here,” Byrne told the meeting.

Planetary scientists have been arguing over Mercury's lobate scarps ever since the Mariner 10 spacecraft flew past the planet three times in 1974-75. Researchers can use measurements of the length and height of the scarps to calculate how much planetary shrinkage they represent.


That shrinkage is a product of Mercury's odd composition — “like a core floating through space with a thin outer blanket,” says Byrne. Most of the planet is made of that large core, and so it would have cooled rapidly as heat rushed toward its surface. Modelling studies have long suggested that the planet should have shrunk by 10-20 kilometres over its lifetime, compared to the 2-3 kilometres estimated from Mariner 10 data1.

The latest estimates come from NASA’s MESSENGER probe, which photographs and measures Mercury's topography. Last year, Italian scientists used MESSENGER data covering one-fifth of the planet to show that its shrinkage was probably greater than the Mariner 10 estimates.

The latest work, covering the entire planet, revealed many lobate scarps with sharp vertical relief, Byrne said. It also uncovered details on another kind of surface feature that may be related to shrinkage. These ‘wrinkle ridges’ are less pronounced than the lobate scarps but may also have formed during contraction. Combined, the data on the lobate scarps and the wrinkle ridges suggest that Mercury's diameter has shrunk by 11.4 kilometres, Byrne said. Even leaving out the wrinkle ridges gives 10.2 kilometres of contraction.

Those numbers are plausible to at least one planetary scientist who studied Mercury’s shrinkage using Mariner 10 data in the 1970s. Jay Melosh, a planetary geologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, suspects that even more lobate scarps may be lurking out there. “Many of these things may still be hiding,” he says. “As far as I'm concerned, this may be an underestimate of the amount of shrinkage.”


Nature news Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2013.14331


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Phil Stooke
post Dec 16 2013, 10:04 PM
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http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Feature/15192


John Lennon's on Mercury now...

Phil



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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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nprev
post Dec 16 2013, 10:49 PM
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smile.gif

Nobody told him there'd be days like these. An excellent tribute.


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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ngunn
post Dec 16 2013, 10:57 PM
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I suppose that's appropriate. "Imagine there's no atmosphere . . "
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tedstryk
post Dec 17 2013, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Dec 16 2013, 11:04 PM) *
http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Feature/15192


John Lennon's on Mercury now...

Phil


Roll on John! Perhaps they can bend the rules for Bob Dylan.


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MarcF
post Dec 18 2013, 04:07 PM
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And when will they add Freddy Mercury ?? ;-)

Marc.
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