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CU instrument orbits Mercury
CU's education is out of this world...literally. NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which is carrying an $8.7 million University of Colorado instrument, will make it's third and final flyby of Mercury on September 29.
The mission? To take pictures of Mercury to put up on Facebook. Well, not quite. The mission is to take high-resolution color images of the surface terrain, as well as taking ultraviolet and visible light measurements of the planet's harsh surface.
The biggest question that scientists are hoping to solve is the amount of iron there is on Mercury's surface. Iron is the main cause for a strong magnetic field.
Over the next couple of years, images and information will stream back into the country, allowing more and more CU students to become involved in analyzing the data. For more information on the Messenger mission and to see what your fellow CU students are investigating, go to http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/d8b462aa4456fc10e063fc9f9aa5c5a5.html.