Mercury unveils its mysteries to a team of U.S. scientists



United States - Last October, a spacecraft launched by NASA took pictures of the very precise rocky planet. The device, called Messenger, Mercury flew more than 200 km above the equator. Advancing to 25 000 km / h, he made 1 200 pictures of the nearest neighbor of the Sun. 

The first flight on top of Mercury in January 2008 had already revealed to scientists that the vast plains present on its surface are the result of volcanic eruptions. They also discovered that the nucleus formed from molten iron is the origin of magnetic fields that characterize it. 

The study of photographs obtained after this second expedition was discovered that Mercury is a planet much more turbulent than previously thought so far. Tornadoes are filled to the surface by a temperature of 350 ° C. In addition to face as high a temperature, the material used for the operation had to resist the gravitational force exerted by the Sun and its radiation important to drill some of the mysteries of a planet very close to Earth . 

The images also revealed the presence of a Mercury crater 692 km in diameter. This impact is particularly visible as it is the only geological record that is not yet covered by a thick layer of volcanic ash. According to Thomas Watters of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, dates from this crater more than 3.9 billion years. 

Sean Solomon, in charge of scientific observations of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, we also share significant changes identified in the interactions between magnetic fields and the solar wind on the surface of Mercury. The next flight is scheduled for September 2009 may provide new information about this mysterious planet.

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