Posts Tagged ‘mercury’

Messenger Spacecraft Orbits Planet Mercury

Messenger Spacecraft

Messenger Spacecraft Orbiting Mercury

On March 18, 2011, NASA’s Messenger Spacecraft entered into an orbit around the planet Mercury.  This is another first for the human race!  No other man-made machine has ever pulled off this gravitational balancing act!

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What is the Closest Planet to Earth – Mars, Venus, or Mercury?

Planet Mars

Planet Earth is the third planet closes to the sun.  Using the old saying, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas,” it can be remembered that the order of the planets goes like this: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (if you consider it to be a planet).  Accordingly, it would seem as though either Venus or Mars would be the closes planet to Earth.  But which is it?

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Mercury The First Planet

planet mercury

The Planet Mercury

Mercury is the first planet and I would say the planet that is most often ignored.  Is this because it looks like the Moon?  Are we only interested in planets with atmospheres (like Venus or Saturn) rather than rocky objects littered with hundreds of thousands of craters?   Take a look at the picture above.  This photo of Mercury was taken by Nasa’s  Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974.

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