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MESSENGER Mission News
December 9, 2013

MESSENGER Team Presents Latest Mercury Findings at AGU Fall Meeting
Members of the MESSENGER team will present a broad range of findings from the spacecraft's orbital investigation of Mercury during the 2013 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), which takes place this week, December 9-13, in San Francisco. In 33 oral and poster presentations, team scientists will report on the analysis and interpretation of observations made by MESSENGER's instruments in the 2.5 years since the spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury in March 2011.

The majority of the MESSENGER papers will be given in three special sessions on December 9. Those oral and poster presentations will report new findings on Mercury's gravity field, surface composition, exosphere, and magnetotail; thermal models derived from MESSENGER topography; Mercury's permanently shadowed craters; and the planet's substorm cycle.

Many of these presentations will be available by video on demand. For more information, visit the AGU Fall Meeting web page http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/virtual-options/live-stream-video-demand/ and click on the appropriate session at the scheduled time (Pacific time).

On December 10, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. PDT, MESSENGER Project Scientist Ralph McNutt will present MESSENGER's preliminary findings from its observations of the comets 2P/Encke and C/2012 S1 (ISON) at a press conference, "The Battle of Fire and Ice: New Scientific Results from Comet ISON." Additional information is available at http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/media-center/press-conferences/#ison.

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 entered orbit about Mercury on March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011 UTC), to begin a yearlong study of its target planet. MESSENGER's first extended mission began on March 18, 2012, and ended one year later. MESSENGER is now in a second extended mission, which is scheduled to conclude in March 2015. Dr. Sean C. Solomon, the Director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 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.

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