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Mercury Flyby 1
Phil Stooke
post Jan 15 2008, 12:45 PM
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Dec: "All this talk about a probable moon brings about an interesting question; why shoudn't Mercury or Venus, of all places, have a satellite.

Even Pluto fares better (with 3 partners!)

What do our men and women of astronomy have to say?"


Solar purturbations on the orbit - there are no stable orbits of Mercury over long periods.

Phil


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Doc
post Jan 15 2008, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jan 15 2008, 03:45 PM) *
Solar purturbations on the orbit - there are no stable orbits of Mercury over long periods.

Phil


What about Venus?


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Stu
post Jan 15 2008, 01:20 PM
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Guys, guys... forget moons and Earth... look at that limb...

Attached Image


See them?Look at all those Ho****nd-esque glass towers! Abandoned alien cities on Mercury! Aliens I tell ya!! ohmy.gif laugh.gif


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Stu
post Jan 15 2008, 01:30 PM
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I don't know if this means anything or not, but if you simply boost the Brightness values of the final approach image in Photoshop, more "crud" appears near our mystery object...

Attached Image


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ugordan
post Jan 15 2008, 01:35 PM
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That would be the diffuse light halo off of Mercury's sunlit limb, quantized to 8 bits and further artifacted by JPEG compression. If you look still deeper into the image, some say you can find out the Big Question itself (since we already know the Answer To The Big Question).


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ustrax
post Jan 15 2008, 02:02 PM
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Noam Izenberg details for the following hours:

"The data downlink begins around noonish Eastern time US (GMT-5).

It should take several hours for the data to come down from the spacecraft, and then the Ingestion of the data to the Science Operations center - the translation of raw telemetry to files that can be examined and verified for initial scientific use - takes place either late today or early tomorrow morning, depending on how fast the data comes down.

I think, but am not 100% sure - so no promises - that some early images may be available by the end of the day today."

EDITED: Regarding the 30th of January as next release that seems to be not true according to Mark Perry the team "will release at least one image per day for the next ten days, or so."


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tedstryk
post Jan 15 2008, 02:35 PM
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My contact with the team also suggests that there will be releases in the near future.


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Stu
post Jan 15 2008, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE (ustrax @ Jan 15 2008, 02:02 PM) *
I think, but am not 100% sure - so no promises - that some early images may be available by the end of the day today."

EDITED: Regarding the 30th of January as next release that seems to be not true according to Mark Perry the team "will release at least one image per day for the next ten days, or so."


That's great news, I'll look forward to those! And it means at least I'll get to see some images before we head off on our hols on Sat (Cyprus... Paphos to be precise... any UMSFers there? Recommendations for restaurants? wink.gif )


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um3k
post Jan 15 2008, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (ustrax @ Jan 15 2008, 07:38 AM) *
Just grab me! I'm delirating! tongue.gif


I bet they have abysses, as well! tongue.gif
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tasp
post Jan 15 2008, 03:23 PM
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Any sign of geysers of molten lead visible on the limb??

Perhaps evidence of a liquid metal 'aquifer' under the surface of mercury ??


{just kidding, btw}
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mgrodzki
post Jan 15 2008, 03:41 PM
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as phil says above… if there are no stable orbits around mercury, then there can be no moons. besides, wouldn’t someone have seen them by now? if they can detect tiny moons about pluto, wouldn’t they have detected tiny ones as close as mercury (even with the solar imaging issues)?


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JRehling
post Jan 15 2008, 05:10 PM
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[...]
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ugordan
post Jan 15 2008, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 15 2008, 06:10 PM) *
If Mercury has some grains of sand orbiting it, we'll never know.

But such small objects would be inherently unstable as light pressure and various effects related to it would destabilize the orbits quickly, no?


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elakdawalla
post Jan 15 2008, 05:34 PM
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I've just heard that MESSENGER may not get its expected 70-meter time today because of an anomaly going on with another spacecraft -- so we may have to try to exert a bit of patience (and restraint of our desire to wring exciting new science out of optical navigation images) before we see anything new.

Also, remember that if anything new comes down today, it will only be approach stuff; they don't expect departure stuff until at least tomorrow. But with the DSN schedule going haywire it's anybody's guess when the pictures we want will actually start hitting the ground.

--Emily


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As old as Voyage...
post Jan 15 2008, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (IM4 @ Jan 15 2008, 06:47 AM) *
By the way a strange faint dot can be seen in the last aproach image. Artifact, star or even MOON?


Looking at JPL's Solar System Simulator - That dot is very close to where Earth should be as seen from MESSENGER.


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