MESSENGER Stories

Mercury’s Strange Hollows

6 min read

Enigmatic depressions on the surface have puzzled scientists since the 1970s For decades, scientists have been puzzling over strange hollows on Mercury’s surface, thousands of peculiar depressions at a variety of longitudes and latitudes, ranging in size from 60 feet…

Article8 months ago

The Moon and Mercury May Have Thick Ice Deposits

5 min read

Earth’s Moon and Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, may contain significantly more water ice than previously thought, according to a new analysis of data from NASA’s LRO and MESSENGER spacecraft. The potential ice deposits are found in craters…

Article5 years ago

NASA Team Studies Middle-aged Sun by Tracking Motion of Mercury

4 min read

Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding. It happens because the Sun’s gravitational grip gradually weakens as our star ages and loses mass. Now, a team of NASA…

Article6 years ago

Small Collisions Make Big Impact on Mercury’s Thin Atmosphere

4 min read

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers. Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft — short for Mercury Surface, Space…

Article7 years ago

‘Great Valley’ Found on Mercury

2 min read

A newly discovered “great valley” in the southern hemisphere of Mercury provides more evidence that the small planet closest to the sun is shrinking. Scientists used stereo images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to create a high-resolution topo map that revealed…

Article8 years ago

Mercury Gets a Meteoroid Shower from Comet Encke

6 min read

The planet Mercury is being pelted regularly by bits of dust from an ancient comet, a new study has concluded. This has a discernible effect in the planet’s tenuous atmosphere and may lead to a new paradigm on how these…

Article9 years ago

Altimeter Assists in MESSENGER’s Low-Altitude Navigation

3 min read

As NASA’s MESSENGER mission draws to a close, an on-board science instrument that mapped the surface of Mercury is helping the navigation team with the spacecraft’s low-altitude passes. MESSENGER remains in an eccentric orbit but is passing much closer to…

Article9 years ago

Mercury-bound Goddard Instruments Aboard MESSENGER Arrive at Target

3 min read

As the MESSENGER spacecraft begins its science operations above the surface of Mercury, Goddard instruments are gearing up to help unveil the planet’s mysteries. Goddard leads or co-leads two of the spacecraft’s instruments and a science investigation aboard the spacecraft.…

Article13 years ago