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Posts Tagged "Mercury"

Life, Unbounded

Dust to Dust: A Disintegrating Exoplanet?

Through the skies darky - a planet turning to dust (Credit: NASA)

A significant number of exoplanets orbit their parent stars far more closely than anything does in our solar system. From hot Jupiters to hot-Neptunes, and hot super-Earths, there is quite an array of worlds in devilishly close proximity to the blazing radiation of a star. In some cases we have been able to measure the [...]

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Observations

Top 10 Space Stories of 2012

Space shuttle Endeavour lands at LAX

Now that 2012 has really and truly been put to bed, let’s look at the year that was in space exploration and astronomy. My choice for #1 was a no-brainer: not only is spectacular science already rolling in, but the top space event of the year—the August landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars—also crossed [...]

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Observations

NASA probe returns first-ever orbiter photo of Mercury

Mercury as seen by NASA

A NASA spacecraft has captured the first-ever image of Mercury taken from orbit around the planet. MESSENGER, which on March 17 became the first space probe to orbit Mercury, the innermost world of the solar system, snapped its first photo of the diminutive, cratered planet at 5:20 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time) on March 29. Near [...]

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Observations

MESSENGER spacecraft successfully enters orbit around Mercury

Mercury during a 2008 MESSENGER flyby

On March 17, after a roundabout, nearly seven-year journey, NASA’s MESSENGER probe became the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. MESSENGER, which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, launched in 2004 on an inward-spiraling path through the inner solar system that covered nearly eight billion kilometers and [...]

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Observations

NASA spacecraft to buzz Mercury a third and final time today

Mercury MESSENGER flyby

In a pair of flybys by a robotic explorer last year, planetary scientists began to unravel some of the mysteries of Mercury, a planet that is difficult to study from Earth and that had not been visited by a spacecraft since the 1970s. Today brings the third such near approach to the planet by the [...]

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Plugged In

20 Years in the Making – National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants

epaSeal

Today, after 2 decades of controversy, the U.S. EPA released a final version of its new standards to limit toxic emissions from power plants. Under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for fossil-fired power plants, the EPA will be able to regulate the emission of: Heavy metals [...]

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The Countdown

The Countdown, Episode 17 – Mercury’s Magma Ocean, Flinging Space Trash, Spectacular Solar Images, Van Allen’s Third Belt, Massive Black Hole Spins Near Light-Speed

[The text below is a modified transcript of this video.] 5) Mercury’s Magma Ocean Mercury may once have contained a veritable ocean of shifting, glowing molten rock. Scientists think magma flowed over the planet’s surface more than four billion years ago. Since March 2011, NASA’s Messenger probe has been orbiting Mercury to gather information about [...]

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