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Planetary Science

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FIRST ROCK FROM THE SUN  NASA’s Messenger spacecraft orbited Mercury for four years, giving an unprecedented view of its surface, including this enhanced view of the chemicals and minerals that coat it. A mission during the 2017 total solar eclipse will take a deeper look at the planet.


HEATED PAST  From around 4.25 billion years ago to at least as late as 2.5 billion years ago, the moon had a magnetic field, which dwindled in strength over time, a new study finds.


FIRST OF ITS KIND  A Voyager spacecraft flies by Saturn in this computer-generated image from The Farthest.

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