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MESSENGER ARRIVES, Mercury Orbit Insertion
craigmcg
post Mar 18 2011, 08:57 AM
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Nice article in the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/03/17...rss&emc=rss
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ngunn
post Mar 18 2011, 09:36 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Mar 18 2011, 08:17 AM) *
Emily has made an absolutely gorgeous pic for her blog, showing Mercury's size compared to other familiar bodies in the solar system...


Indeed, a very nice comparison. But we already know of two other bodies in that size range, namely Pluto and Eris, making a total of 10.
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Stu
post Mar 18 2011, 09:57 AM
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True, but we haven't got very good images of those to use, tho.


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belleraphon1
post Mar 18 2011, 11:38 AM
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unmanned spacecraft in orbit...

how did I miss the worldlets????? Eros and possibly Itokawa.... must be my age... and the beer.
Thanks for the corrections folks.

The Eyes on the Solar System site had a terrific simulation.... really felt like I was riding along as I listened to the webcast.
Terrific experience...

Kudos all .....

Craig
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brellis
post Mar 18 2011, 01:07 PM
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Emily's survey is great! I felt proud to recognize each orb, like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif
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ElkGroveDan
post Mar 18 2011, 01:58 PM
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QUOTE (brellis @ Mar 18 2011, 05:07 AM) *
like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif

I used to have friends like that; remote, lonely, frigid, two-faced, endlessly going in circles, still showing the obvious scars that impacted them long ago. Sure there was always at least one hot one, but she'd usually be prone to eruptions. Since then I found UMSF and a whole new universe of friends.


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Stu
post Mar 18 2011, 01:59 PM
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laugh.gif laugh.gif


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machi
post Mar 18 2011, 02:11 PM
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Congratulation to the MESSENGER team! rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Mar 18 2011, 02:58 PM) *
I used to have friends like that; remote, lonely, frigid, two-faced, endlessly going in circles, still showing the obvious scars that impacted them long ago. Sure there was always at least one hot one, but she'd usually be prone to eruptions. Since then I found UMSF and a whole new universe of friends.


laugh.gif


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Stu
post Mar 18 2011, 02:43 PM
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VERY proud that the MESSENGER team used a new poem I wrote for them, marking MOI...

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_orbit.html

(bottom right)

smile.gif


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gndonald
post Mar 18 2011, 03:54 PM
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Congratulations to NASA!

I'm eagerly awaiting the first light photo from orbit...
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elakdawalla
post Mar 18 2011, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Mar 18 2011, 12:17 AM) *
Fantastic news! And if you haven't seen it already, Emily has made an absolutely gorgeous pic for her blog, showing Mercury's size compared to other familiar bodies in the solar system...
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002965

I'm glad you liked that; I'm pleased with how it turned out, though of course it looks good mostly because of Ted's excellent processing work. It's wonderful what matching phase angles and lighting directions will do to improve the feel of a montage. I spent half an hour discussing that image with my girls' babysitter last night -- a fun conversation smile.gif

QUOTE (ngunn @ Mar 18 2011, 01:36 AM) *
Indeed, a very nice comparison. But we already know of two other bodies in that size range, namely Pluto and Eris, making a total of 10.

As Stu said, we don't have images of those! --but in the text and caption I did make an error about how these were all the things in the solar system between 2000 and 6000 km across -- should've stuck with 2500-6000 and I'd've been correct; or just left Triton off and left it at 3000-6000. I have a massive cheat sheet above my desk that I use to do quick size comparisons, but I don't have the KBOs on there yet because I'm still working on hunting down the best estimates of their sizes. I have got to finish that project.

QUOTE (brellis @ Mar 18 2011, 05:07 AM) *
Emily's survey is great! I felt proud to recognize each orb, like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif

Me too smile.gif The challenge for us uber-geeks is to know just from looking at them which spacecraft was responsible for each image.


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tedstryk
post Mar 18 2011, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 18 2011, 05:32 PM) *
-but in the text and caption I did make an error about how these were all the things in the solar system between 2000 and 6000 km across -- should've stuck with 2500-6000 and I'd've been correct; or just left Triton off and left it at 3000-6000.

It isn't an error - all are in that range.


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nprev
post Mar 18 2011, 06:14 PM
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Belated congrats after a long night of work to the MESSENGER team for their own many, many long nights of work that resulted in not only a spectacular success but a truly historical achievement. smile.gif


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Drkskywxlt
post Mar 18 2011, 07:10 PM
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I was in the studio audience last night and I want to give kudos to APL for putting on a very entertaining and informative show. Pretty amazing that by July we'll have spacecraft orbiting 8 solar system bodies (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, Vesta and Saturn). Too bad MESSENGER probably won't be around in 2016 when Juno arrives at Jupiter to make it 9!
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nprev
post Mar 18 2011, 07:21 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 18 2011, 09:32 AM) *
Me too smile.gif The challenge for us uber-geeks is to know just from looking at them which spacecraft was responsible for each image.


A challenge indeed, considering Ted's great skill at reprocessing data from older missions!

Okay, I'll take a shot, from left to right (the last one is a gimmie, though):

Messenger, Clementine, Cassini, Galileo, Galileo, Voyager 1, Cassini, Voyager 2.

<braces for humiliation>...

(And congratulations to Stu for his terrific poem posted on Messenger's most special day.... smile.gif )


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