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Mercury's Complex Exosphere: Results from MESSENGER's Third FlybyDuring MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer detected emission from ionized calcium concentrated 1 to 2 Mercury radii tailward of the planet. This measurement provides evidence for tailward magnetospheric convection of photoions produced inside the magnetosphere. Observations of neutral sodium, calcium, and magnesium above the planet's north and south poles reveal attitude distributions that are distinct for each species. A two-component sodium distribution and markedly different magnesium distributions above the two poles are direct indications that multiple processes control the distribution of even single species in Mercury's exosphere,
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
McClintock, William E.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Killen, Rosemary M.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Sprague, Ann L.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Anderson, Brian J.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Burger, Matthew H.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Bradley, E. Todd
(University of Central Florida Orlando, FL, United States)
Mouawad, Nelly
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Solomon, Sean C.
(Carnegie Institution of Washington Washington, DC, United States)
Izenberg, Noam R.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
August 6, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: Science
Volume: 329
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
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