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gcecil
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 2 2008, 01:07 PM) *
Does JPL's HORIZONS system give you what you're looking for?
http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons

--Emily


Yes. I didn't realize that HORIZONS has spacecraft. Thank you. Now just need to convert these into TLE format.
ustrax
We're back... rolleyes.gif

http://spaceurope.blogspot.com/2008/01/mes...ry-flyby-1.html
http://spaceurope.blogspot.com/2008/01/mes...flyby-1_04.html

This is it for now.
I will not promise anything but...let's try to make of this return to Mercury a great party... smile.gif
Phil Stooke
Some new visualizations are up on the MESSENGER page for this flyby.

Phil
ustrax
QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jan 5 2008, 09:10 PM) *
Some new visualizations are up on the MESSENGER page for this flyby.

Phil


Are you referring to the fantastic work done under the visualization tool? Astounding...magnificent outreach... biggrin.gif
NMRguy
MESSENGER Mission News
January 7, 2008
MESSENGER Only One Week from Mercury

One week to go and fortunately no big surprises. Also, the mid-December trajectory correction maneuver (TCM-19) went so well that the scheduled January 10 maneuver will not be necessary. Data gathering should begin in two days. Very exciting times.


EDIT: I just noticed that on January 30 (1 p.m. EST.), there is a "NASA Space Science Update on the Mercury flyby" at NASA Headquarters. Is this the main science press release?
PhilCo126
Any chance they'll show something on NASA.TV ?
NMRguy
Apparently they will. Here's a link to the schedule.

NASA TV Schedule
January 30, Wednesday
1 p.m. - MESSENGER M1 Flyby News Conference - HQ (Public and Media Channels)
NMRguy
MESSENGER Mission News
January 8, 2008
Six Days from Mercury and Counting!

Rapid fire! Another update from MESSENGER team. Mission operators have sent commands to acquire nine sets of optical navigation images at Mercury. APL and the Planetary Society are also hosting a public reception on the evening of the encounter. The reception will include a talk by Robert G. Strom, a professor emeritus at The University of Arizona who was involved in Mariner 10 and is now a member of the MESSENGER Science Team. He'll "share his unique perspective on the significance of the MESSENGER mission." This might be of interest to those of you in the DC-area.
JRehling
[...]
Stu
While we wait for new images to start coming in, I thought I'd do a bit of Googling for existing images... these 3D views are pretty interesting...


Discovery Rupes in 3D


Renoir crater in 3D
Stu
Can someone help me get oriented here? I've always been fascinated by the Caloris Basin, and I'm looking forward to seeing it in more detail during the fly-by. So...

Click to view attachment

1. Have I labelled its location correctly in the top image (view pre-closest encounter)?

2. Where will Caloris Basin be on the images of Mercury we see post closest encounter? (if we're going to see it at all?)

Over to our magnificent map makers... smile.gif
lyford
n00b question -

How does a spacecraft like Messenger slew back and forth rhythmically as in this video? Does that targeting use propellant or can gyros or something else produce that motion?

Or should I go search through the comments on the death of the scanning platform thread?
Ian R
Stu,

Check out the screenshot I've culled from the following animation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFCrvvn57AM

Click to view attachment

The Caloris basin (or half of it) is visible inside the green circle. Messenger will have a good look at it on the outbound leg of the encounter.

Ian
JRehling
[...]
Stu
Thanks guys, exactly what I wanted. Knew I could count on you. smile.gif
edstrick
This will give a rather poor, high-sun-angle view of Caloris on the limb. Some basin ring relief may be visible on the limb. Color differences will be more visible than near the terminator, complementing the mariner 10 terminator data and some indications of chemical differences of the smooth and fractured plains filling the basin from ejecta, etc.
ustrax
Great explanation by Noam Izenberg about what will be the work done by MASCS and how this will occur.
elakdawalla
MESSENGER Team Receives First Optical Navigation Images

But don't get your hopes up; as far as I can tell, the news release doesn't actually include the images huh.gif

EDIT: I've confirmed with the project that they don't plan to release the images until tomorrow's press conference.

--Emily
nprev
I was gonna say "odd", but that's cool; as long as they get released! smile.gif
CAP-Team
The NAC images should look something like this:

Click to view attachment
ustrax
We have an happy team over there...Ralph McNutt words:
"We have a beautiful crescent of Mercury centered in the imager field of view!"

He's teasing us...isn't he?... smile.gif
Stu
I know that at least one of the MESSENGER team has been lurking here for a while, so I'd just like to wish everyone involved with MESSENGER all the best for the fly-by next week.

Looking forward to those first images! smile.gif
ustrax
MERCURY AHEAD!!!
elakdawalla
Press conference graphics
PDP8E
Here is the output of my hand written trajectory simulator mixed with some of JPL's tool along with some other software and jpegs I had lying around... Mercury!

Click to view attachment

smile.gif

Go Messenger!!
belleraphon1
Mercury Ahead indeed.

Really looking forward to this. Since the last flyby in 1975, my two children have grown to adult hood, and I am now a granfather. Hoping the space geek gene jumps a generation to infect my grandsons.

A long time to wait to complete the task of mapping Mercury...

Craig
Holder of the Two Leashes
Those press conference graphics that Emily linked to are pretty impressive. Just about everything you want to know.
nprev
Yeah (sigh)...I'm hoping that the spacebug gene skips a generation as well, Craig; if it isn't on "Entertainment Tonight", my daughter could care less.

MESSENGER is a huge milestone; by the time that the mission is completed, we will have mapped all of the classical planets (pre-1781) and their major moons, in our lifetimes. That is nothing short of astonishing, to say nothing of humbling. We're on our way... smile.gif
Holder of the Two Leashes
I've noticed on the animations that some of the NAC images on approach are taken entirely within the night side. What's up with that? Is is possible for them to actually see anything in these? Maybe a bit of light from Venus on that part, but not much else.
tedstryk
QUOTE (Holder of the Two Leashes @ Jan 10 2008, 11:48 PM) *
I've noticed on the animations that some of the NAC images on approach are taken entirely within the night side. What's up with that? Is is possible for them to actually see anything in these? Maybe a bit of light from Venus, but not much else.


It may be to give them some margin of error in camera pointing. At such high resolution, a relatively small error (in terms of position) could wreck havoc on a mosaic.

While we were waiting, I figured I would post a link to my new Mariner-10 mosaic I posted in the Mariner-10 thread. I always wondered why Robinson's global mosaic for the receding side used much more distant frames than the approaching side, which is much larger. He did make a high resolution mosaic of this area, but with a lot of gaps and gores. After trying to work with the data myself, I understand why.


http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/4070/ou...hires1f1yt9.jpg
elakdawalla
I think also it was easier for them to sequence, and then process, an m-by-n rectangular mosaic than to delete frames here and there from the rectangle; you might notice that in some of the post-flyby mosaics, there are several corner frames that shoot right off the disk into space.

Also, a while back, I asked Louise Prockter why they sequence them typewriter style -- do a row, carriage return, do the next row, carriage return -- rather than a more economical left-to-right then right-to-left back-and-forth sweeping. She said they investigated sequencing the mosaics that way, and it's just simpler for them to process and assemble mosaics built up typewriter-style than back-and-forth style, as it makes the variation among frames more consistent.

--Emily
JRehling
[...]
gcecil
QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jan 10 2008, 06:54 PM) *
It may be to give them some margin of error in camera pointing. At such high resolution, a relatively small error (in terms of position) could wreck havoc on a mosaic. ...

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/4070/ou...hires1f1yt9.jpg


OR, maybe they might catch a small moon out of shadow? I recall from a DPS poster that there are some quasi-stable phase space, searched telescopically without success but with a high background level of course. You'd think "why not wait for orbit?", except that the illumination is different and most importantly because there are no guarantees orbit will be achieved. Get as much from the flybys as possible, no predicting the future.

Re satellites, I'm especially intrigued about an elongated oval feature evident in the radar images below Caloris, so well placed for this flyby (unfortunately in the Doppler ambiguous region so not included in Phil's MESSENGER radar base map). It is inclined only a bit from the equator. Perhaps a spun-down Phobos-like oblique impact? A long shot, but we'll see soon enough, hopefully.
nprev
That would be fascinating, but got my doubts. I'd be much more inclined to believe in possible small moons for Mercury if the planet was truly Sun-synchronous in rotation, but as-is and given the tremendous gravitational influence of the Sun (to say nothing of Mercury's orbital eccentricity) I just don't see it happening due to (however minute) tidal influences.

Would be delighted to be proven wrong, however! smile.gif As I mentioned to another forum member in a private message, each first orbital mission around a planet has uncovered at least one surprise; can hardly wait to see what Mercury has in store for us.
elakdawalla
QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 10 2008, 04:16 PM) *
Today's obscure vocabulary word...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boustrophedon

wink.gif

Awesome. I knew there had to be a word for that. Boustrophedon. Now if only there would be more than two people in the audience who would understand it if I wrote it. wink.gif

--Emily
volcanopele
Excellent. All future communications from me will now be written in that style.
stevesliva
Me
.oot
peter59
New image snapped with the Narrow Angle Camera, on January 10, 2008, when MESSENGER was a distance of just less than 2 million kilometers from Mercury.

Mercury - January 10, 2008
tedstryk
Here is a new version of the first image. The processing is heavy, so interpret with caution.
Bjorn Jonsson
Getting closer. Hints of relief/craters visible, especially if you sharpen the image:

Click to view attachment
ugordan
Interesting, it's just starting to show irregularities in brightness of the crescent, i.e. hints that it's not a smooth globe.

EDIT: I see Bjorn beat me to it smile.gif
volcanopele
LOL, looks like we all had the same idea. So far I could only identify one surface feature when comparing the image to the Mariner 10 basemaps:
tedstryk
I processed both of them now.

Click to view attachment
climber
Not my idea actualy, but I hope Nasa will name a yet to be discovered feature on Mercury after Hillary (& Tenzing).
BTW, did you know that when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon, it was on Hillary's 50th birthday !
tedstryk
Looks like our Poet Laureate has given voice to our first views from the vicinity of Mercury since the 1970s.

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/poem.html
ustrax
HOO-RAH!!! biggrin.gif
n1ckdrake
Beautiful poem. Congrats Stu!
Stu
Thanks! smile.gif I'm almost embarrassingly chuffed that they used it. I will never cease to be amazed by how generous and enthusiastic the people behind these multi-gazillion dollar/pound/euro missions are, how they take time from their busy schedules to answer emails from space cadets like me, and put things like that poem up on their official websites. I guess I'm still just that space mad kid who sat in a corner of the library at school reading the science books during breaktimes, when everyone else was outside kicking a ball around... laugh.gif
belleraphon1
Stu.... very nice...

You give value to all of us who spent their HS lunch hours buried in books and dreaming of climbing the worldtree.

Keep it up, sir.

Craig
nprev
Let me add my congratulations, Stu; that's just outstanding, we're all extremely proud of you!!! smile.gif
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