Mercury's Exosphere study Chemical Properties of Comets

In the last few years most of the international space agencies selected the planet Mercury as the main target of the Solar System exploration for the next 15 years, considering the large efforts in terms of resources and funding for dedicated space missions.
At the same time several scientific activities on studying and observing Mercury started, mainly in Europe and Japan, in order to refine the models to better define and to calibrate the payload on board, and to be ready when the spacecrafts will be on site.

Our team started a long term campaign of observations and modeling of the Mercury's exosphere, even working on telescopes not yet dedicated to planet observations, as the solar telescope THEMIS, in support of few instruments on board the ESA/JAXA mission BepiColombo.

A further scientific activity in support of a space mission is the study of the chemical properties of comets being involved in the visible camera OSIRIS on board the ESA space mission ROSETTA. This mission has been launched in 2004 and it is working very well, as the Deep Impact observations showed, promising very good data in the next flybys till the arrive to the target, the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.