Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Astrophysicists in Love - Here Comes Mercury!

Just 9 days to go until MESSENGER inserts itself into permanent orbit around Planet Mercury, the last of the 8 planets we've explored in detail. I must admit this Science geek is totally excited, and I must caution patience, to myself! But it's hard.

Anyway, you can see the excitement quite well in the following video from The American Museum of Natural History in the faces and talks of the Pros responsible for this wonderful mission, and that was just on the 1st of 3 flybys I believe.

I imagine the news of this will be everywhere, and if they can postpone votes on UNfunding or pushing back funds for Europa/Jupiter, or time it well, it may have an effect of that future probe's being commissioned as originally planned. Oh well, we'll see.


Phil Warnell said...

Phil Warnell said...
Hi Steve,

Well I have to admit I’m another one holding his breath until the insertion orbit is attained. Mercury holds a special significance as it was Einstein’s GR that was finally able to explain its orbit without having to believe in an undetectable planet called Vulcan.



Steven Colyer said...

That's right, Phil, and better yet, I bet it's the richest planet in the system, mineral-wise, given its heavy iron core. They don't know why? Well, it's pretty deep in the solar well, where do they think the heaviest elements fell in the formation days of the solar system? That's important to encourage the money, i.e., the mining companies, who will be the ones to get us into space.