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Artwork of the hypothetical moon of Mercury

Artwork of the hypothetical moon of Mercury

R300/0097

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Mercury's moon. Artwork of the hypothetical moon of Mercury, with the planet in the sky. The moon's existence was suggested in 1974 when the Mariner 10 spacecraft detected bursts of Extreme Ultravio- let (EUV) light from an unidentified source as it neared Mercury. It was believed that the inter- stellar medium absorbed EUV, meaning that the emi- ssion source was nearby. The source was tracked, & it was found to be moving at 4 kilometres per second, a speed similar to that of a moon. The source was found to be star 31 Crateris. Although no moon was found, it had been discovered that EUV could penetrate the interstellar medium, giving astronomers a new way of observing the universe.

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