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Unformatted text preview: nPa ).  The exospheric species originate either from the Solar wind or from the planetary crust. Solar light pushes the atmospheric gases away from the Sun, creating a comet-like tail behind the planet. The existence of a Hermian atmosphere had been contentious before 1974, although by that time a consensus had formed that Mercury, like the Moon , lacked any substantial atmosphere. This conclusion was confirmed in 1974 when the Mariner 10 spacecraft discovered only a tenuous exosphere. Later, in 2008, improved measurements were obtained by the MESSENGER spacecraft, which discovered magnesium in the Hermian exosphere....
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- Fall '10