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DATA FROM ORBIT REVEAL NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT MERCURY'S GEOLOGY, COMPOSITION, AND ORIGIN

Date: September 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. EDT


Introduction

MESSENGER’s instruments are making continuous and high-resolution observations of Mercury that can be obtained only from orbit about the planet. Analyses of data from the spacecraft’s first six months of orbital observations have provided new details about the planet’s volcanic history; have revealed a previously unrecognized terrain type formed by loss of volatile material; have documented Mercury’s surface composition and plasma environment; and are changing previous ideas about how Mercury was formed. The results are reported in a series of seven papers published in a special section of Science magazine on September 30, 2011.



Panelists

- James W. Head, III, Professor of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI
- David T. Blewett, MESSENGER Participating Scientist and Staff Scientist, Planetary Exploration Group, Space Department, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD
- Patrick N. Peplowski, Staff Scientist, Planetary Exploration Group, Space Department, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD
- Thomas H. Zurbuchen, Professor of Space Science and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Resources:

press release   multimedia  
   


Contact Information:

Paulette Campbell
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, Maryland
Phone: 240.228.6792

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC
Phone: 202.358.1726/3895

Tina McDowell
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Washington, DC
Phone: 202.939.1120



Event Information:

The NASA MESSENGER Science Update will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. EDT. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio.


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