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Thursday, March 31, 2011

NASA's Messenger...

...spacecraft has released its first image of Mercury -- the first ever glimpse of the innermost planet's dusty craters taken by a craft in orbit just over 120 miles from the planet's surface.  Mercury has the greatest range of surface temperatures of any planet in the solar system.  This ranges from -300°F on the dark side of the planet to 800°F in the late afternoon.  A single day is represented by slightly less than 60 earth days.

I've always been fascinated with Astronomy and in fact I sometimes enjoy breaking out the family telescope.  On a clear night when company has come over and joined me on the back patio I will sometimes set up that telescope, occasionally allowing guests to see their first view of the moon through the lens, shadowed craters and debris fields visible.

There's something about a dead planet or our own moon that makes the creation of this earth come alive for me.  Earth is a living planet for many reasons.  Water, atmosphere, the perfect rotation balanced by the perfect moon the exact distance from a perfectly energized sun.  While there are many coincidences in this world- our world is not one.

As Messenger and other satellites like it continue on their journeys, taking amazing pictures of lifeless planets, let's celebrate our own vibrant and living planet- always thankful of the perfect one who created her. 


Charlotte said...

Thank you for this post! Mark is in Indiana now, and I've been counting the days until we are all back under the same roof: 55 days today. But in Mercury time, we will be together tomorrow!! Sounds much better when I think of it that way.

Vedef my friend. Vedef.

Alan said...

I know you miss him, Charlotte. You'll all be together very soon for your new adventure. In the meantime, perhaps your periodontist can help keep you company... oops. er, sorry.

Veadlings- Those pesky dots that fall out of the bottom of a hole puncher.