Mercury has a thin atmospheric layer. But the weather on the planet is more surprising - the morning micrometeor showers.
The latest model and observations from MESSENGER showed how some species of comets affect the one-sided attack of the surface of Mercury by tiny dust particles - micrometeorites. The study also allowed for a new look at the exosphere.
Information from MESSENGER showed that the dust must stay on the planet in specific directions. They decided to prove this by the example of a model. Early data in the UV and visible spectrum showed that the meteorite attack continued throughout the day. This is indicated by the presence of magnesium and potassium in the exosphere. This hints that meteoric strikes are becoming more frequent on the part of the planet where dawn comes.
Researchers used MESSENGER data and early models to track exactly how some types of comets affect Mercury. Before you information MASCS spectrometer Mercury rotates extremely slowly (once every 58 days), so part of the planet spends a long time under the sun's rays, accepting a population of micrometeorites. They are called retrograde, which contain fragments of disintegrated long-period comets. They move against the flow of planetary motion, so their blows with Mercury are much stronger.
It turned out that there are only two types of drummers for Mercury - the Jupiter and Halley families, whose speed accelerates to 224,000 miles per hour. Jupiter comets are subject to planetary gravity, and their periodicity lasts less than 20 years. In the case of Halley, they rotate around the Sun for 200 years and come from the Oort cloud.
These are ideal candidates for the formation of small meteoroids, bursting into the exosphere of Mercury.