Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mercury Seen

It's kind of the ignored wallflower of the solar system. Mercury just doesn't have the same kind of mystical appeal of, say, Saturn's rings, Jupiter's swirling storms, or Uranus' hilarious name. But now that NASA's Messenger probe has photographed the previously unseen side of the sun's closest buddy, Mercury may be nudging itself into the spotlight after all. Not only is it slightly different looking than our moon (it's got some blue and red spots here and there!), but it also features the "spider", an unusual formation that scientists believe could be the remnant of a massive volcano. It's no wonder Mercury's been trying to hide this unsightly blemish from us, but it's about time the little planet learned to embrace its flaws and allow us to love it for its personality, which, like the personalities of other unattractive and often ignored things, I hear is just wonderful. More details here.

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