Date: September 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. EDT
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.
- 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
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Carnegie Institution of Washington
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.