Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mercury...and Ultrarunning

No, this is NOT the moon:


Credit to Bad Astronomy, which never disappoints!

The NASA probe Messenger flew by the planet Mercury last week, sending back the first close-up, high-resolution photos of the solar system's smallest planet.  These images are exciting, and BA says it quite well:

But there’s a terrible beauty in all these pictures. Mercury is a strange little world. Hot, dense, battered, cracked… it’s as unlike Earth as any solid body can be, and it’s exactly those contrasts that will help us understand more about planetary geology and environments. We travel the solar system for many reasons — to learn about strange, new worlds; to discover new science; to have our brains tickled at the wonder and majesty of nature — but it’s funny how so many of these findings wind up helping us understand our own planet. That may not be the only reason we go, or even the most important one, but it’s still a fine thing to do.


The very reasons to get excited about Mercury are the same reasons I love Ultrarunning: "...to learn about strange, new worlds; to discover new science; to have our brains tickled at the wonder and majesty of nature...."

 

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