NASA Spacecraft Circling Mercury

NASA has successfully maneuvered a craft called Messenger into orbit around Mercury, no small feat because of the gravitational pull of the sun.

Mercury is not only difficult to get to, but it’s has some of the most extremes in the solar system. Temperatures there swing wildly by 1,100 degrees. While it gets up to 800 degrees on the planet closest to the sun, it also is so cold and dark in some craters that the temperatures don’t get above 300 degrees below zero. Radar even shows that there is likely frozen ice in those craters, something Messenger will try to confirm.

03.18.2011Tagged with:    

Solar System Scale Model

Finding all the planets can be a bit tough on this scale model of our solar system, but that’s because the page is over a half-mile long.

This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale. Unlike most models, which are compressed for viewing convenience, the planets here are also shown at their true-to-scale average distances from the Sun. That makes this page rather large – on an ordinary 72 dpi monitor it’s just over half a mile wide, making it possibly one of the largest pages on the web.

(via coudal)

12.17.2009Tagged with: