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J.K. Wilson, J. Baumgardner, M. Mendillo (Center for Space Physics/Boston University)
We have conducted two sets of observations of the sodium exosphere of Mercury using an image-slicer and spectrograph. The first observations were made at the McDonald Observatory 2.1 meter telescope in November 2000, using an intensified video camera to allow for shifting-and-adding of the 1/30th second images to counteract the effects of atmospheric seeing. The second set of observations was made at the 0.5 meter telescope of the B.U. station at McDonald Observatory in June 2002, using an integrating CCD. Both sets of observations show polar bright spots in Mercury's sodium exosphere, perhaps suggesting magnetospherically-guided sputtering of the surface by the solar wind.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.