Date acquired: March 29, 2011
Of Interest: Early this morning, at 5:20 am EDT, MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury. This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System’s innermost planet. Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down. Tomorrow, March 30, at 2 pm EDT,attend the NASA media telecon to view more images from MESSENGER’s first look at Mercury from orbit.
Is this really a photo of Mercury? Odd, that the first time we capture Mercury by one of our spaceships in orbit should be during the period when Mercury, from Earth’s point of view, is retrograde (seems to be going backwards), something it does three times per year for 21 days. I always tell people not to sign important documents during Mercury Rx periods, as there will likely be some kind of glitch. Any communication or transportation situation can go a little haywire, or be delayed, and so on.
Mercury is Rx from March 30 until April 23. It’s a great time to go back over situations that need to be thoroughly thought through. A good time to slow down and notice the ways that we communicate with each other and our own often dysfunctional thinking patterns (prejudicial, judgmental, obsessional, going round and round in circles, etc.)
Meanwhile, Here’s another NASA shot of Mercury, in full living color! Why don’t they always do color for planets? This one makes Mercury look luminescent, as if it’s glowing from within. Is it? In any case, it’s gorgeous, glorious. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a conscious fly-by tonight, while out of body, and “dreaming”!