The only other planet that has a magnetic field?

MASCS/MDIS color mosaics of Mercury. Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Aloha – NASA’s Messenger, like the first person to run a marathon is dead.  It crashed into the planet Mercury on April 30th ending a four year study of the Sun’s nearest planet.  I can only recall two science fiction novel that suggested intelligent life on Mercury:  Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury, and also C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength wherein the novel suggests that Mercury was the birthplace of language for the Universe.  By the way I highly recommend C.S. Lewis’ science fiction trilogy.  It moves from juvenile science fiction adventure in volume 1, to deep philosophy by volume 3.  Lewis was certainly a crafty writer.

Meanwhile the big news from Mercury is that instead of the birthplace of language, scientists now claim that it is the only other planet in the solar system to have had a magnetic field created by a dynamic core.  Not only the only planet beside Earth to have a magnetic field, but the first, dating back over 3.5 billion years.  So perhaps the birthplace of magnetic cores in the universe is far fetched, but it would certainly provide an intriguing change for Lewis.  Wait a minute, he was an etymologist, I think he would have stuck to the birthplace of language.

If you’re more interested in Mercury in science fiction you might check out

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_in_fiction

Doc

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