The moon was pretty spectacular, wasn’t it? Reminded me of the movie Moonstruck? The space station was easy to see over Eastern Kentucky, too, making for a good sky-watching weekend. The Blaze last week released an interesting composite video on the planet Mercury. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/17/get-a-look-at-the-planet-mercury-as-youve-never-seen-it-before/ That website doesn’t typically focus on astronomy but Glenn Beck’s name for his multimedia enterprise is Mercury Arts or some such so I think that’s the interest for this NASA video.
Here’s what NASA said:
For the first time, the entire surface of planet Mercury has been mapped. Detailed observations of the innermost planet’s surprising crust have been ongoing since the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft first passed Mercury in 2008 and began orbiting in 2011. Previously, much of the Mercury’s surface was unknown as it is too far for Earth-bound telescopes to see clearly, while the Mariner 10 flybys in the 1970s observed only about half. The above video is a compilation of thousands of images of Mercury rendered in exaggerated colors to better contrast different surface features. Visible on the rotating world are rays emanating from a northern impact that stretch across much of the planet, while about half-way through the video the light colored Caloris Basin rotates into view, a northern ancient impact feature that filled with lava. MESSENGER has now successfully completed its primary and first extended missions.
The video is the result of more than 160,000 images and other observations taken as part of the mission.