How Mercury Retains an Atmosphere

How Mercury Retains an Atmosphere
Magnetic tornadoes were found in Mercury's magnetic field. The pink area represents the magnetopause. The tornadoes are technically known as "flux transfer events" (twisted lines) when they form at the magnetopause and "plasmoids" (yellow areas) when they form in the long magnetic "tail" extending from the night-side of Mercury. They act as open channels through which the solar wind can flow down to the surface of the planet and sputter neutral atoms into Mercury's atmosphere.
(Image: © Image produced by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Image reproduced courtesy of Science/AAAS)

Mercury should have trouble

New clues to why Mercury

"Mercury's atmosphere

That something is the solar

Launching atoms

The solar wind is a thin

Scientists didn't know how

The results are detailed in

Mercury and Earth are both

In its latest

For some reason, there are

"Mercury's proximity to

Reconnections at Earth

Reconnections also happen in

Venus and Mars do not have

MESSENGER will fly by

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