Professor Ichiro Yoshikawa (Department of Complex Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences)
Lecturer Kazuo Yoshioka (Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences)
In BepiColombo, a cooperative mission between JAXA (Japan) and ESA (European Space Agency), simultaneous launch of MMO (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter) in charge of Japan and MPO (Mercury Planetary Orbiter) in charge of Europe is scheduled (2018). We are doing general development of Mercury sodium atmospheric observation machine “MSASI” installed in MMO. We are also developing the detector part of the Mercury Outer Space Ultraviolet Spectrometer “PHEBUS” installed in MPO.
MSASI (Mercury Sodium Atmosphere Spectral Imager)
~ Mercury sodium atmospheric observation machine ~
I do not know why the sodium atmosphere surrounds Mercury. MSASI detects weak light emitted by sodium and explores the distribution of the sodium atmosphere.
PHEBUS (Probing of Hermean Exosphere By Ultraviolet Spectroscopy) ~ Mercury Exosphere Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Observation Device ~
Mercury is flying to outer space with various elements boiling up from the ground due to intense sunlight. It may contain ingredients that are not known yet. PHEBUS examines the elements that dissipate in outer space by observing Mercury’s outer sphere with ultraviolet rays.