RAIN PAIN: What a difference a day makes. I think just yesterday I posted in the blog how this winter has been The Most Boring weather-wise in Seattle history. Well, Mother Nature must have caught wind of that declaration, and she decided to do something about. As in, kick our ass.
We live in the PacNW and we're totally used to rain. What we're totally NOT used to is rain that slaps so hard against your scalp that it HURTS. That would be today. It was so freaking rainy and windy that the freaking puddles had white caps, I'll kid you not.
HOWDY, NEIGHBOR: Our planetary neighbor Mars seems to get most of the press, but just two doors down the other direction, Mercury is worthy of some attention, too.
Check out this amazing video of the planet closest our sun.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.
It's a compilation of nearly 90,000 images of the surface of Mercury obtained by the MESSENGER Wide Angle Camera (WAC). The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit fiery Mercury.
We're all taught in school that Mercury is a little fireball, and honestly I've never thought of it as more than a molten planet. How amazing to see its surface, craters and all. Per NASA, "The colors shown int he video are related to real variations in the spectral reflectance across the planet. ... Young crater rays, arrayed radially around fresh impact craters, appear light blue or white. Medium- and dark-blue areas are a geologic unit of Mercury's crust known as the "low-reflectance material", thought to be rich in a dark, opaque mineral. Tan areas are plains formed by eruption of highly fluid lavas. The color base map shown here consists of MDIS images taken through eight different color filters."
What we see is a super duper accurate version of Mercury's surface; the photos used in the composite cover more than 99% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of about 1 kilometer per pixel.