Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct. 2 - Mercury's Mysterious Bright Spot Photographed Up Close‏

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A mysterious bright area on the surface of Mercury is seen near the top center of this image. The MESSENGER probe also imaged this spot in its second flyby of the planet last year. Color images from MESSENGER's Wide Angle Camera reveal that the irregular depression and bright halo have distinctive color. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

This image shows a double-ring impact basin, with another large impact crater on its south-southwestern side. Smaller, more recent impacts formed comparatively fresh craters across the entire surface visible in this image. Double-ring basins are formed when a large meteoroid strikes the surface of a rocky planet. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The above MESSENGER images were taken on approach to Mercury during the spacecraft’s second (left) and third (right) flybys. The two images cover very nearly the same terrain, but for the right image the Sun’s illumination is more nearly grazing (local time is almost sunset) and the viewing perspective of the spacecraft is more nearly vertical. Because of Mercury’s rotation between the two encounters, the position of the crater in the right image is nearly at the terminator (the division between the dayside and night side of the planet), and thus the shadows are longer. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

In the top center of the image, outlined in a white box and shown in the enlargement at upper right, is a cluster of impact craters on Mercury that appears coincidentally to resemble a giant paw print. In the “heel” are overlapping craters, made by a series of impacts occurring on top of each other over time. The four “toes” are single craters arranged in an arc northward of the "heel." Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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Yahoo! Buzz
Mercury's Mysterious Bright Spot Photographed Up Close
By Andrea Thompson
Senior Writer
posted: 01 October 2009
12:23 pm ET

During its most recent flyby of Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft caught another glimpse of the innermost planet's mysterious bright spot.

The MESSENGER probe skimmed just 142 miles (228 km) above Mercury at its closest approach as it whipped around the planet during the flyby, the last of three designed to guide the spacecraft into orbit around the planet in 2011.

The $446 million probe snapped several new images of Mercury during the flyby, despite a minor data hiccup that delayed the downlink of some of the images.

One of the new images shows a bright spot on the planet's surface, a feature that scientists cannot yet explain.

The new view was the third of the spot, which was first seen in telescopic images of Mercury obtained from Earth by astronomer Ronald Dantowitz. The second view was obtained by the MESSENGER Narrow Angle Camera during the spacecraft's second Mercury flyby Oct. 6, 2008. At that time, the bright feature was just on the planet's limb (edge) as seen from MESSENGER.

Surprisingly, at the center of the bright halo is an irregular depression, which may have formed through volcanic processes. The object will be further investigated when MESSENGER arrives at its final orbit around Mercury.

In the new images were also pictures of impact basins, including a double-ring impact basin, with another large impact crater on its south-southwestern side. Double-ring basins are formed when a large meteoroid strikes the surface of a rocky planet.

The floor within the inner or peak ring appears to be smoother than the floor between the peak ring and the outer rim, possibly the result of lava flows that partially flooded the basin some time after impact.

Some of these craters are relatively fresh, formed by more recent impacts. On Mercury, like the Earth's moon, even ancient impact craters can be preserved on the surface because there is no atmosphere to cause erosion and no plate tectonics to recycle the rock, as there are on Earth.

One set of impact craters even coincidentally resemble a paw print.

MESSENGER was also able to image some of the same terrain as it did in its second flyby, but this time with slightly different lightning conditions. Different angles of sunlight can better show the topography of the planet's surface.

MESSENGER made its closest approach to Mercury at about 5:55 p.m. EDT (2155 GMT) when it sped by at about 12,000 mph (19,312 kph). The probe then flew behind Mercury, passing out of communications with Earth for about an hour before restoring contact.

The spacecraft is the first probe to visit Mercury since NASA's Mariner 10 mission in the mid-1970s.

NASA launched MESSENGER - short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging - in 2004. The probe swung past Earth once and Venus twice before beginning its three Mercury flybys.

Author: By Andrea Thompson

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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