NASA is set to announce scientific findings and release new?images from the third and final flyby of Mercury by the Mercury?Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft, ?known as MESSENGER.?
An image of Mercury from the MESSENGER mission (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington) The picture here shows an impact basin and was seen for the first time during MESSENGER’s third flyby of Mercury. The outer diameter of the basin is approximately 260 kilometers (160 miles). This basin has a double-ring structure common to basins with diameters larger than 200 kilometers (about 125 miles). The floor of the basin consists of smooth plains material. Concentric troughs, formed by surface extension, are visible on the basin floor. Such troughs are rare on Mercury, and the discovery of such features in this newly imaged basin is of great interest to members of the MESSENGER Science Team. Crater chains produced during ejecta emplacement also can be seen emanating from the basin.
NASA will release the materials in a press conference Tues., Nov. 3.
?The probe’s cameras and instruments collected high-resolution and?color images of the planet on Sept. 29, unveiling another 6 percent?of Mercury’s surface never before seen by a spacecraft.?
?The event will include Sean Solomon, principal investigator at Carnegie Institution of? Washington; Ronald J. Vervack, Jr., participating scientist at The Johns Hopkins?University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md; David J. Lawrence, participating scientist at APL; and Brett Denevi, imaging team member and postdoctoral researcher at?Arizona State University (Tempe)?
?Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at www.nasa.gov/newsaudio?.