Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where No Man Has Gone Before

A Patch of Mercury . . . in cool blue
 Did you know that we've had a scientific mission to Mercury going on? That a satellite has been circling the small planet nearest the sun for the past year? I'll bet it may have crossed your consciousness at one point, but that it's long since taken leave. And the media is not much help. Reporting these matters will never trump stuff like celebrity and sports news, much less the latest blather from politicians or stuff about our endless wars. So you stumble over fascinating articles like this one that remind you that truly monumental things are happening whilst we go about our mundane tasks.

No mission to any place in our solar system has ever not provided surprises. In the case of Mercury, scientists have been amazed to discover that geological activity (i.e., volcanic, tectonic) continued on the planet far, far beyond the time it was previously thought to have been possible. And measurements of the gravity of the planet on the Messenger spacecraft have revealed that the core of the plant is much, much larger than Earth's. So the mantle and crust of the planet Mercury are quite thin, like the peel on an orange compared to the interior. Who knows what other wonders await our discovery out there?

I'm wondering if there's some invisible satellite circling us . . . measuring our interiors.
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