Do you love stargazing? Do you also love sleep? Well, one of those loves is gonna have to go - at least for one morning this month. For the next thirty days, you'll have a chance to see all five planets visible to the naked eye all lined up in a row for the first time in ten years.Read More
NASA is asking you, dear readers, to help them name five craters on the surface of Mercury - and they want you to name them after awesome people, too.Read More
Some planets look better at a distance.
The MESSENGER spacecraft took an upclose look at the surface of Mercury yesterday and captured the highest-resolution images of the planet to date.Read More
Don't move. It can't see you if you don't move.
Mercury is an adorable tabby kitten whose front legs were tragically removed in a weed whacker accident, because humans are horrible monsters. Thankfully, a loving family in Oklahoma redeemed the rest of us by fostering the four day old kitty, who gets around fine with just his hind legs. But he looks...like something. You're all thinking it.Read More
We'd know that laser brain anywhere!
NASA's Mercury probe took a heckuva lot of pictures back in 2011, and scientists have been sifting through them ever since. Last week they released a new image of the planet's surface and... yeah, you nerf herders need to see this. It definitely looks familiar.Read More
You can see Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter together tonight, that is if you can pull yourself away from Netflix for five minutes.
I get it. It's Memorial Day weekend. You have 15 episodes of Arrested Development to get through before returning to work, but tonight take a minute to look to the Western sky and see Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus huddled together. It's not something you get to see every day, and in fact it's pretty rare.Read More
Mercury was that speedy, virile, caduceus-wielding Roman god who ran about doing all the foot work for the bigger gods. It's fitting, then, that the littlest planet in our Solar System -- that zips around the Sun closer than any other -- is named after him, too. Its orbit is only 88 days, and this week, Mercury will streak through our dusk and dawn skies in its greatest elongation of 2013. Us folks in the Northern Hemisphere can see it at dawn if we know where to look, but folks in the Southern Hemisphere will have an even better show.Read More
I Want to Believe
Since NASA's tease last week about "historic" new findings on Mars, the world's been anxiously awaiting details about what the Curiosity's been up to on the red planet. That's why the news that NASA will be holding a 2PM press conference today has everyone in a tizzy. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be as today's press conference is not about Mars, but will reveal new findings from the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury. Don't take it personally, Mercury. You're interesting too; we just really want to hear what they found on Mars.Read More
Though Mercury is generally thought of as an inhospitable, flaming ball of rock due to its close distance to the Sun, its poles are permanently cast in shadow. In the past, work has shown that areas near Mercury's poles reflect radar, which is something ice does. Now, it turns out, the Messenger probe has found that the radar patches near the shadowy poles actually line up with craters that are covered in shadow, which would make a perfect home for water-ice.Read More
This was the scene on May 5, 1961, when Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space. Though his first flight was a brief 15minutes and suborbital, it was the beginning of a long and storied career for Shepard. He would go on command the Apollo 14 mission making him the fifth man to walk on the moon and the first and only to play golf on another planet. NASA is commemorating Shepard's first flight with a postage stamp, and has an interactive site up now with details about the mission that began America's history as a space faring nation.Read More
Earlier this month, NASA's MESSENGER probe became the first manmade object to enter Mecury's orbit, and yesterday it made another historic first: It captured the first-ever image of Mercury taken from space. NASA explains:
The dominant rayed crater in the upper portion of the image is Debussy. The smaller crater Matabei with its unusual dark rays is visible to the west of Debussy. The bottom portion of this image is near Mercury's south pole and includes a region of Mercury's surface not previously seen by spacecraft. Compare this image to the planned image footprint to see the region of newly imaged terrain, south of Debussy.MESSENGER is planned to take more than 75,000 more images of Mercury over the coming year. Click through for a larger image: Read More
Lee Porrazzo, a man from White Plains, New York who says that he ate 10 cans of tuna a week for two years, is suing tuna canning company Bumble Bee after he was diagnosed with mercury poisoning. Porrazzo ate all that tuna for the protein, and he says he was misled by Bumble Bee commercials advertising their tuna as "heart healthy." NY Post:
No one could figure out what was ailing Porrazzo until his doctor ordered a "heavy metals" blood test in October 2008 that revealed a "dangerously high" mercury level of 23 micrograms per liter, more than twice the normal amount, his suit says. "One day I got a call from the [state] Health Department," he said. "They said, 'Normally we don't contact people, but your levels are so high we had to contact you.' I was taken aback and I was scared." The Health Department staffer also told him to stop eating tuna.According to the FDA, you can safely eat about 12 ounces of tuna per week; a can of Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna contains 5 ounces of tuna, so Porrazzo was consuming more than four times the safe amount every week for two years. (NY Post via Consumerist) Read More