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FOR KIDS: Mercury's magnetic twisters1

Slavin says solar wind blasts and magnetic tornadoes may not be creating all of Mercury’s atmosphere, but they probably help a lot. “Ultimately, it’s at least contributing to these variations in Mercury’s metallic atmosphere,” he says.Office 2007 key is very convenient!

But it will take more missions to Mercury before all the mysteries have been solved. One thing scientists have learned from Mariner 10 and MESSENGER, says Sarantos, is that the atmosphere changes quickly on tiny Mercury. Scientists may have to change the way they’re using MESSENGER’s instruments — studying what happens within a minute, rather than what happens within an hour.

“What surprised me the most is how fast things are happening,” says Sarantos. “We thought fast meant variations on a daily basis, but the suggestion of variations in a matter of minutes is too fast for us who analyze these measurements".”

The message from MESSENGER — and from Mariner 10 — is that we still have a lot to learn about Mercury. It’s no quiet pilgrim running around the sun. Instead, with its weak magnetic field, it’s like a miniature Earth whose size and place near the sun lead to strange and unexpected natural phenomena, like giant tornadoes and a disappearing atmosphere.Office 2010 download is available now!

“This is a marvelous example of space weather at another planet,” Slavin says.

atmosphere The gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body, especially the one surrounding Earth, and retained by the celestial body’s gravitational field.

magnetosphere An asymmetrical, bullet-shaped region around Earth, extending from about 700,000 kilometers above the surface on the day side to at least 500 million km on the night side, in which charged particles are trapped and their behavior is dominated by Earth’s magnetic field.

magnetic field A force field around a magnet or an electric current, characterized by the force it exerts on magnetic materials (such as a compass needle) and its ability to deflect the trajectories of charged particles.Buy Office 2007 you can get much convenience.

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