Skip to comments.This Spot on Mercury (Almost) Never Goes Dark
Posted on 04/25/2013 6:28:41 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Mercury, traveling in its 88-day-long orbit around the Sun with basically zero axial tilt, has many craters at its poles whose insides literally never see the light of day. These permanently-shadowed locations have been found by the MESSENGER mission to harbor considerable deposits of ice (a seemingly ironic discovery on a planet two-and-a-half times closer to the Sun than we are!*)
But if there are places on Mercury where the Sun never shines (insert butt joke here) then there may also be places where it always does. Thats what researchers are looking for in illumination maps made from MESSENGER data and theyre getting closer.
The image above shows a region near Mercurys south pole. The yellow arrow points to the closest thing to a true peak of eternal light found thus far on Mercury, a point that receives sunlight about 82% of the time almost constantly illuminated.
Studies of the illumination conditions near the north and south poles of Mercury are of interest because they can be used to determine locations of permanent shadow, extremely cold places where ice deposits lurk. However, the illumination maps also reveal the locations that receive the maximum duration of sunlight during a Mercury solar day.
A peak of eternal light that is illuminated continuously for an entire solar day would be a favorable target for a lander, because solar power would be available all the time.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
There's just that little melting down into metalic slag thing to worry about. /hyperbole mostly off
It's fairly toasty there, I understand. Not as bad as Venus, but harsh.
Yes, I read your posts... Why do you torment me so?
Not as bad as Venus, but harsh.
The Moon is a harsh mistress.
One of those quirky quiet movies but I liked it. (Sunshine)
Mom never twigged that the book was about what it was about. My book report at age 8 highlighted the parallels to the American Revolution, the physics of dropping rocks, and the possibility of artificial intelligence. I carefully left out any other analysis.
A few years later, she handed me "Time Enough For Love" and thought I might like that because it was by the same author.
Credit points... I didn't choke (I'd already read it). I just sullenly asked if I'd have to write a book report....
Sometimes when I’m in the shower I’ll think to myself “ah, unmetered water!”