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Still Waters

Blast-off for BepiColombo on Mercury mission

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Still Waters

Two satellites developed in Europe and Japan are on their way to Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun.

The joint endeavour, known as BepiColombo, left Earth on an Ariane rocket that launched out of South America.

It will take the probes seven years to reach their destination.

But when they do finally arrive, it is hoped their parallel observations can finally resolve the many puzzles about the hot little world.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45838991

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fred_mc

I can think of a number of planets and moons in the solar system that are a bit more interesting to explore than Mercury, bodies that have an atmosphere and/or oceans, but I guess it is good to examine Mercury in more detail as well anyway.

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Carlos Allende

Well, that's something to look forward to in seven years time*

*(I'm sure the Mad Max gangs will find it fascinating).

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Waspie_Dwarf
17 hours ago, fred_mc said:

I can think of a number of planets and moons in the solar system that are a bit more interesting to explore than Mercury, bodies that have an atmosphere and/or oceans, but I guess it is good to examine Mercury in more detail as well anyway.

Interesting to who?

There are scientists who are absolutely fascinated by the fact that Mercury has a magnetic field when all predictions say it should have none. Discovering how this magnetic field is generated could teach us a lot more about magnetic fields on other planets... Earth for instance.

There are also those that are fascinated by the fact that Mercury seems to have formed at a much lower temperature than it's proximity to the Sun should allow, implying it formed further out and migrated inwards. Learning more about this process could teach us a lot more about the formation of other planets in the solar system... Earth for instance.

You may not find Mercury particularly interesting but don't make the mistake of thinking that means everyone finds it uninteresting. For some planetary scientists it is the most fascinating body in the solar system.

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paperdyer

I wonder if Mercury was an "original" planet.  Maybe it was a rouge that our sun grabbed.  I always wondered how it could be so close and not molten.

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