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Attitude Mercurial

9 Mar 2012, 19:44 UTC
Attitude Mercurial
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In reviving my space trivia series on Twitter, I realized while going through my planetary research notes that I have completely neglected the smallest of our innermost and terrestrial planets, the lovely hot Mercury! How did that happen? Well, Mars is such a squeaky wheel, Mercury tends to get lost in the shuffle.I love Bing.And Mercury is populated! Well... there are cities named Mercury in Alabama, Nevada, Texas, and Savoie, France. Cheap joke. But here you are, reading it.Seriously -- planet Mercury, closest to our sun, smallest floating rock without being demoted to "dwarf" and the smallest axial tilt. Yeah, that one. Mr. Speedy, who orbits our parent star every 87.969 Earth days.Assyrian astronomers in the 14th century BC were the first to record their observations of planet Mercury, on the famed Mul.Apin tablets, where its cuneiform name translates to "the jumping planet". Babylonians also recorded Mercury a few hundred years later, naming it "Nabu" after a messenger god.Ibn al-Shatir model for appearances of Planet MercuryLater, the Greeks mistook Mercury for two planets, calling it "Apollo" at sunrise, and "Hermes" at sunset. Around 400 BC they realized this visible celestial body was one and the same, and it fell exclusively ...

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