Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mercury Rising.

Ha I bet you thought this was goin to be some crappy post about a Bruce Willis flick. Nope. Look at this fresh ass, hot off the deep space probe Messenger. This here is never before seen images of the planet Mercury. We got this from Messenger yesterday and there is some wow factor involved for all us space geeks. Check it.

I mean how spankin is that? Looks a lot like our moon eh? So enjoy this tid bit of space exploration. This is from Bad Astronomy, which ain't a bad blog.

Do you see that circular feature to the upper right, slightly lighter in color than the surrounding plains? That’s Caloris Basin, the Basin of Heat. It’s called that because when Mercury reaches perihelion, that spot is close to being aimed right at the Sun. It’s one of the worsts spot on Mercury to live, if you’re considering a winter home there. Caloris Basin (formed in some ancient and very large impact) is over 1300 kilometers across — roughly as big as Texas. The mountains ringing it are 2 km high.

Because of the weird spin/orbit coupling, when Mariner 10 passed Mercury in 1974, it never was able to see the western rim of Caloris Basin. But there it is, right there, seen by human eyes for the very first time.

Yes it is an exciting time for space geeks. We are seeing things we never seen before and I love it.

1 comment:

Butterfly said...

although i'm not much of a space geek, this is pretty fuckin cool :)