Lost in Space – Solar System Tour #1 – Mercury


Solar System Map

Solar System Map

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                  Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Now, My Dear Readers, I promised a bit of a ‘Solar System Tour’ for this article series, many weeks ago. I explained that while I completely enjoyed showing all the wonderful images from the Hubble Space Telescope of galaxies near and far, I have long wanted to write and publish a tour of our solar system. That even now, in the 21st century, all too many people have never seen the most recent images of all the planets in our own solar system.

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Produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's primary mission

Produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER’s primary mission

(Produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER’s primary mission)[1]

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Recently our solar system was downgraded, so far as the number of ‘planets’ in our solar system. You, My Dear Readers, were likely taught that Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system. Our past the gas giants and the Kuiper Belt[2] was where the planet Pluto made its orbit. In a very sad moment, for many astronomers (both armature and professional), when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) stripped Pluto of its planetary status in August of 2006.[3]

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Image of the Caloris Basin on Mercury taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft.)

Image of the Caloris Basin on Mercury taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft.)

(Image of the Caloris Basin on Mercury taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft.)

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In a less publicized and less known move, a dwarf planet gained the recognition by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in September of 2006 and was given the name Eris.[4] So, My Dear Readers, it seems that we (our solar system) has lost Pluto (as a planet) and gained Eris as a dwarf planet. Eris is nearly nine billion miles from Earth and has a 560 year orbit. Earth’s orbit is, of course, 365 days. I will not be featuring Eris in this series… and the jury is out on if I will feature Pluto, but I believe that I will.

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This edition will server as the introduction to the series and images from the very first planet on our tour, Mercury. The innermost planet of our solar system, Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. Only 15,329 km in equatorial circumference and has a radius of just 1,516 miles. Mercury orbits the Sun in just over 87 days, yet it takes 58 days fifteen hours and thirty minutes to rotate on its axis! Whereas Earth takes just twenty-four hours to rotate on its axis.

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Mercury

Mercury

(Mercury)

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Mercury was known to man as early as Sumerian times nearly 5,000 years ago. As close to our sun as Mercury is, its surface has some of the highest temperatures as any planet in our solar system ranging from 840 degrees and as low as – 275 degrees. This results in a temperature swing of nearly 1,00 degrees in a single rotation on its axis.

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Enhanced Color Image of Mercury

Enhanced Color Image of Mercury

(Enhanced Color Image of Mercury)

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NASA first sent a probe to examine Mercury in 1973, named Mariner 10.[5] The next mission to Mercury wasn’t for another thirty-one years. In August 2004 NASA launched ‘MESSENGER’ (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging.) to Mercury from Cape Canaveral. These are the only two mission America has sent to observe our innermost solar sister, Mercury. Conversely, the (failed) USSR mounted over a half-dozen probes to fly-by Venus and Mercury, all failed. It seems that Mercury just is not that popular by nations or their scientific communities.

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Mercury Bartok Crater Complex

Mercury Bartok Crater Complex

(Mercury Bartok Crater Complex)

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That brings us to our last image for this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ and our visit to Mercury. The image below is an artist conception of the Messenger space probe while in orbit of the planet Mercury. This is the only image in this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ that is not an actual photographic image captured by either of the probes or the Hubble Space Telescope. I was actually reather surprise that there were so very few images of Mercury taken by Hubble, and that the majority of all images of Mercury were taken by either of two probes.

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Messenger in Orbit of Mercury

Messenger in Orbit of Mercury

(Messenger in Orbit of Mercury)

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the very end of another edition of ‘Lost in Space’ here at ‘The Other Shoe’. Truthfully, I am rather surprised… that I published twelve articles last week and have started this week with an article of this size and scope. You see, My Dear Readers, my health is failing. Failing and I have no one to help me get to the scan my doctor’s have prescribed… or to see any doctors. I will not belabor the point. I hate even talking about my medical condition here, and do not like bringing any depressing content.

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Coming, later this week, will be another edition of ‘The Mars Report’, Part ELEVEN of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ and ‘News From Around the World’. I hope that everyone has a chance to come by and check out all the fine work I have to share this week. Thank you for dropping by and spending some time with me, here at The Other Shoe.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

 

 

 


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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

2 Responses to Lost in Space – Solar System Tour #1 – Mercury

  1. Pingback: FIVE HUNDRED ARTICLES a Reveiw & Celebration! #1 | The Other Shoe

  2. Pingback: FIVE HUNDRED ARTICLES a Reveiw & Celebration! #1 Redux | The Other Shoe

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