Friday, March 18, 2011

Video Del Fuego, Part XLII

In all of the excitement of the last week, one event has gone mostly unreported. The MESSENGER spacecraft has just entered orbit around the planet Mercury. This is significant, because in terms of required energy, this is about as hard as sending a probe out into interstellar space. As a result, we know almost nothing about the innermost planet. This is going to change once MESSENGER begins its survey mission on April 4.

We have now placed orbiters around every planet out to Saturn, and have currently operating probes at each of those except for Jupiter, Galileo having completed its mission back in 2003.

Congratulations to the MESSENGER navigation team on a job well done so far. Now, we get to see what Mercury's been hiding all these years.


John Myste said...

What are anti-photons? I read they are photons, but not photons, like a brand name or something.

There was a suggestion that because of anti-protons the light may not always purely be the absence of darkness.

Tim McGaha said...

I honestly hadn't heard of anti-photons before ... because, as it turns out, the photon is its own anti-particle. Weird.