Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days of Planets: Mercury

Day 14
Mercury is a special planet. It is closest to the sun in our solar system. It is named after the Messenger of the Roman Gods. Mercury has a lot of craters and in that respect is quite similar to the moon. Speaking of craters - Cookie Monster! Cookie Monster is on Mercury, in the form of craters of course. See?

(picture from I09)

Because Mercury is so close to the sun, it is difficult to observe. The spacecraft Mariner 10 was the first to visit Mercury. It took a number of pictures, provided information to NASA, and then ran out of fuel. It is thought to still be orbiting the sun - one, lonely spacecraft, asleep, circling the sun over and over and over and over
             and over and over and over
                          and over and over and over

The MESSENGER spacecraft launched in 2004, and has done several flybys. It successfully entered orbit in 2011, and is now in an extended mission expected to last until 2013. 

Mercury is visible (sometimes) to the naked eye. Just don't stare at the sun too long. Or you might go blind.

In conclusion, Cookie Monster is everywhere.

Pictures from NASA.

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