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Measurement of the radius of Mercury by radio occultation during the MESSENGER flybys

Perry, Mark E. und Kahan, Daniel S. und Barnouin, Olivier S. und Ernst, Carolyn M. und Solomon, Sean C. und Zuber, Maria T. und Smith, David E. und Phillips, Roger J. und Srinivasan, Dipak K. und Oberst, Jürgen und Asmar, Sami W. (2011) Measurement of the radius of Mercury by radio occultation during the MESSENGER flybys. Planetary and Space Science, 59 (15), Seiten 1925-1931. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2011.07.022.

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Offizielle URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063311002443

Kurzfassung

The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft completed three flybys of Mercury in 2008–2009. During the first and third of those flybys, MESSENGER passed behind the planet from the perspective of Earth, occulting the radio-frequency (RF) transmissions. The occultation start and end times, recovered with 0.1 s accuracy or better by fitting edge-diffraction patterns to the RF power history, are used to estimate Mercury's radius at the tangent point of the RF path. To relate the measured radius to the planet shape, we evaluate local topography using images to identify the high-elevation feature that defines the RF path or using altimeter data to quantify surface roughness. Radius measurements are accurate to 150 m, and uncertainty in the average radius of the surrounding terrain, after adjustments are made from the local high at the tangent point of the RF path, is 350 m. The results are consistent with Mercury's equatorial shape as inferred from observations by the Mercury Laser Altimeter and ground-based radar. The three independent estimates of radius from occultation events collectively yield a mean radius for Mercury of 2439.2±0.5 km.

Dokumentart:Zeitschriftenbeitrag
Titel:Measurement of the radius of Mercury by radio occultation during the MESSENGER flybys
Autoren:
AutorenInstitution oder E-Mail-Adresse der Autoren
Perry, Mark E.Planetary Exploration Group, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 21044
Kahan, Daniel S.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109
Barnouin, Olivier S.Planetary Exploration Group, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 21044
Ernst, Carolyn M.Planetary Exploration Group, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 21044
Solomon, Sean C. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015
Zuber, Maria T.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
Smith, David E.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phillips, Roger J.Planetary Science Directorate, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
Srinivasan, Dipak K.Planetary Exploration Group, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 21044, USA
Oberst, Jürgenjuergen.oberst@dlr.de
Asmar, Sami W.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Datum:7 September 2011
Erschienen in:Planetary and Space Science
Referierte Publikation:Ja
In Open Access:Nein
In SCOPUS:Ja
In ISI Web of Science:Ja
Band:59
DOI :10.1016/j.pss.2011.07.022
Seitenbereich:Seiten 1925-1931
Verlag:Elsevier
Status:veröffentlicht
Stichwörter:Mercury, Messenger, radio occultattion, radius, RF
HGF - Forschungsbereich:Luftfahrt, Raumfahrt und Verkehr
HGF - Programm:Raumfahrt
HGF - Programmthema:Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Schwerpunkt:Raumfahrt
DLR - Forschungsgebiet:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Teilgebiet (Projekt, Vorhaben):R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Standort: Berlin-Adlershof
Institute & Einrichtungen:Institut für Planetenforschung > Planetengeodäsie
Hinterlegt von: Marita Wählisch
Hinterlegt am:10 Jan 2012 12:16
Letzte Änderung:26 Mär 2013 13:36

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