The Messenger mission to Mercury opened a new window into the inner solar system. In 2008, this mission began a number of years of flybys, culminating in an orbital insertion around Mercury and producing unparalleled observations about this mysterious innermost planet. Mercury orbits so close to the Sun, from the point of view of Earth, that seeing it from the Earth against the Sun's glare is a great challenge. At the same time, the huge gravitational force of the Sun makes it a challenge to put a mission on Mercury without losing it into the Sun. Now, with heightened understanding of Mercury, we gain understanding of the hot, close planets in orbit around distant stars.The SUN, MERCURY, and VENUS, Revised Edition provides up-to-date information on the Sun and the innermost planets, revolutionizing our understanding of the nature of planet formation and planetary systems. Updated with new information about Mercury and planet-building processes taken from research on the Messenger mission, this new, full-color resource describes the beginning of our solar system from its birth in a cloud of dust and gas to the evolution of the Sun, Mercury, and Venus and their present states.
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