Solar System Chatter

Another Crater on Mercury

On April 30, 2015, the MESSENGER spacecraft took one last look at the planet it’s been studying since 2011, and dove into the surface. Data from the mission—MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging—will be studied for years to come. In fact, during its end-of-mission low-altitude orbits, MESSENGER’s instruments got signals from a magnetic field that were too small to be detected from higher altitudes, indicating that Mercury has had a magnetic field for much longer than previously thought.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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