Mercury's Atmosphere from Mariner 10: Preliminary Results

  title={Mercury's Atmosphere from Mariner 10: Preliminary Results},
  author={A. Lyle Broadfoot and S. Kumar and Michael J. S. Belton and Michael B. McElroy},
  pages={166 - 169}
Analysis of data obtained by the ultraviolet experiment on Mariner 10 indicates that Mercury is surrounded by a thin atmosphere consisting in part of helium. The partial pressure of helium at the terminator is about 5 x 10-12 millibar. The total surface pressure of the atmosphere is less than about 2 x 10-9 millibar. Upper limits are set for the abundance of various gases, including hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, argon, neon, and xenon. The wavelength dependence of Mercury's surface albedo is… 
Mercury's helium exosphere after Mariner 10's third encounter
From Mariner 10 third encounter UV data, a value of .00045 was calculated as the fraction of the solar wind He++ flux intercepted and captured by Mercury's magnetosphere if the observed He atmosphere
Mariner 10 - Mercury atmosphere
Reduction of data from the three Mariner 10 encounters to this date have allowed identification of helium and hydrogen as atmospheric constituents. Subsolar point densities are estimated at 4500 cm−3
Study of planetary atmospheres by absorptive occultations
As a spacecraft observes the setting or rising of the Sun or a star behind the limb of a planet, the absorption spectrum of the upper atmosphere can be observed as a function of height. This powerful
Monte-Carlo simulation of Mercury's exosphere
MERCURY In-flight calibration of the PHEBUS UV instrument and Monte Carlo modelling of the hydrogen exosphere
A unique feature of Mercury's space environment is its strongly coupled surface-exosphere-magnetosphere-solar wind system, which can be remotely monitored by space missions such as Mariner 10,
The Surface of Mercury as Seen by Mariner 10
Abstract The Mariner 10 spacecraft made three flyby passes of Mercury in 1974 and 1975. It imaged a little less than half of the surface and discovered Mercury had an intrinsic magnetic field. This
Mercury's helium exosphere
A model He exosphere of Mercury is developed whose source derives from accretion of the small fraction of solar wind He++ that is captured by the magnetosphere and absorbed at the planetary surface.


A new upper limit for an atmosphere of CO2, CO on Mercury
High-resolution infrared spectra of Mercury (1.9-2.7 microns, resolution limit 0.134 wavelength/cm) obtained with the original 'Connes' interferometer at the Steward Observatory 90-inch telescope
A Search for Far-Ultraviolet Emissions from the Lunar Atmosphere
An ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the Apollo 17 orbiting spacecraft attempted to measure ultraviolet emissions from the lunar atmosphere. The only emissions observed were from a transient atmosphere
Mercury: Surface Composition from the Reflection Spectrum
The reflection spectrum for the integral disk of the planet Mercury was measured and was found to have a constant positive slope from 0.32 to 1.05 micrometers, except for absorption features in the
Ultraviolet Observations of Venus from Mariner 10: Preliminary Results
There is evidence for intense air-glow emission at wavelengths longward of 1350 angstroms; the nature of this emission is unclear, but the radiation is spatially extensive and detectable on both day and night sides of the planet.
Preliminary Infrared Radiometry of the Night Side of Mercury from Mariner 10
The infrared radiometer on Mariner 10 measured the thermal emission from the planet with a spatial resolution element as small as 40 kilometers in a broad wavelength band centered at 45 micrometers, implying the presence of regions having thermal inertia as high as 0.003 cal cm-2 sec-� �K-1.
Planetary ultraviolet spectroscopy.
Ultraviolet spectroscopy can determine if the atoms and molecules basic to life are present in a planetary atmosphere: in particular, molecular nitrogen and the photodissociation products of water vapor.
We wish to thank J. A. Simpson and H. S. Bridge for providing us with their unpublished data