Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mercury is hot

Mercury is Hot!

Credits: ESA - image by C.Carreau

I do not only mean the physical temperature, Mercury being the planet closest to the sun and all, but the recent amazing pictures from the NASA Messenger program and now this project by ESA. Lovely competition between NASA and ESA, this is. :-)

ESA's comments to the illustration above: "This artist's impression provides a view of the two BepiColombo spacecraft, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), in their elliptical polar orbits around Mercury.

The MPO will circle the planet along an orbit ranging between 400 and 1500 kilometres above the surface. The MMO orbit ranges between 400 and 12 000 kilometres above the surface. The inclination and the eccentricity of these orbits are optimised for the study of the planet and of its magnetosphere in the very high temperature environment around Mercury."

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