It's Mercury Retrograde Again!
You have probably heard of the following. Never ever sign a contract or any kind of
documents. All communication equipments will be down whether it is the landline, fax
machine, or the internet. Be careful with your conversations for it might be
misunderstood. As possible, don't go outside from the comfort of your home because
cars or any kind of transportation might suddenly go haywire. Just sit inside of your
room, lock the doors and it's the best time to reflect. It is Mercury Retrograde again!
Well, actually, the good news is, you can continue your daily routine because all of these
are just a myth.
So where did the story come from?
What's all with the panic? It all rooted
from an astronomical phenomenon (called
retrograde) and from the name of the
planet. A retrograde happens when an
observer views a heavenly body in orbit,
then suddenly seems to stop and went on
the opposite path of its direction. Is that
possible? Of course not; up till now, there
are no discoveries that an object in space
that follows an orbit can go on reverse. It
is all an optical illusion relative to the
viewer due to the differences in angle,
distance, and speed to each other. Before a
planet "changes" its course, it is said to be travelling in Zodiac; and when it went the
other way, it is said to be in retrograde. Regarding the name of the planet, the Roman
god, Mercury, the god of trade, was described to be a messenger in haste. His swiftness
was depicted by the wings on his head and feet area. That is the very reason why of all of
the gods, the planet was named after "Mercury". It is the nearest planet to the sun and it
travels the fastest on our solar system at about 29.8 miles or 47 kilometers a second.
Being a god that has a great influence on communication, every time Mercury (the
planet) went retrograde, it is said that everything will be chaotic. Mercury retrogrades
happen 3-4 times a year.
Let us study it logically; mercury retrograde believers could have had an unlucky
experience during the said happening. Those may vary - from fights with a loved one, to
a traffic jam or just a bad day. But how about those who had all the luck and happiness
during that exact period, is there something that protected them and made them immune
to the frightful effects? Those examples of star-crossed experiences may all just have
been coincidences. What if the fastest planet was named after Ares the god of war? Will
some bet that there will be a war during its retrograde? Here is the schedule for the 2012
Mercury retrogrades: March 12, July 15, and November 5.
Let us plot the dates and observe the day. But whatever happens, may it be good or
bad, be it a Mercury fact or myth, let us not forget that in every action we are the ones
who are responsible. Some mercury retrograde believers are advocates of astronomy in
terms of spirituality. There is actually nothing wrong with that and every individual
deserved to be respected for their right to choose their own spiritual beliefs. But when the
headlines are being an alarmist or fear mongering that creates an uneasy mood
everywhere, obviously something is not right. Wouldn't it be nicer to sell something to
create a positive environment?
Looking For More Information About Mercury?
Where in the solar system is Mercury? What is its size? Who is Mercury? Looking for
more information? Here are some Mercury Facts for the following problems and more:
First, where is the planet located? In
our solar system, Mercury is in the
innermost of all the planets. Its distance
ranges from 36 to 29 million miles from
the sun. What is its Size? The small
planet is 36 miles across. Its size is only
about 0.37% of the Earth's diameter.
Who is Mercury? Evidently, we name the
9 major planets from the Roman gods.
Mercury, the messenger of the gods, was
described to travel fast. The name was
drawn from the messenger of because the
planet is the fastest to complete a
revolution. Who discovered Mercury? It
is visible to the naked eye for thousand of
centuries so anyone dating back a long time ago would have discovered the planet. What
does Mercury look like? The characteristics of the surface of the moon are very similar to
Mercury's; it has so many craters and cliffs, actually more than the moon itself. One of
the biggest craters on our solar system can
be found on the face of Mercury -the
Caloris. Also, like our moon, Mercury
has phases: from new to full Mercury.
Does Mercury have a satellite?
Although it was suspected to have one for
some time, it was ruled out and what the
astronomers discovered instead was a
neighboring star. Does Mercury have an
atmosphere? There is a thin layer of gas
that can be found on the said planet but is
not substantial to be considered an actual
atmosphere. The gas that surrounds the
said globe (exosphere) is so thin, that any
foreign space object will have almost no resistance and will definitely create a mark on
its surface. What is the temperature on Mercury? During the day it is immensely hot that
it can get up to 660F, but the night can get up to -270F. Now, if Mercury is so near to
the sun, why does the temperature there get so low? It rotates slowly; that's why the
unexposed side of the planet has all the time to calm its temperature down. So how long
does it take to complete its rotation? 176 earth days!
Is all the Mercury facts supplied already enough? Here are some further information:
Mercury is so small, that it smaller than the moon of Jupiter (Ganymede) and the moon of
Saturn (Titan). But with that size, it is next to the earth as being most of the dense planets
on our solar system which give us a hint that Mercury's core is substantially composed of
Iron. So is it the smallest planet? Before, Pluto was considered the smallest with only
2,390 kilometers in diameter (but it is no longer considered a planet). What is the axial
tilt of Mercury? Just a little above 2 which tells us that there is no season there. If you
are at the planet, what would the sun look like? The sun would appear twice and a half
larger as we see it here on earth. Moreover, did you know that Mercury is the only name
of the planet that is shared by a name of an element? Mercury (Hg) is a metallic silver
that in liquid from when present in room temperature and pressure; that is why it is also
Mercury, the First Rock from the Sun
Mercury is the smallest and the nearest planet from the sun. Its diameter is 3,030
miles or only 4,875 kilometers; its average distance from the sun is 36 million miles and
at some point in its orbital journey, can even reach as close as 29 million miles. To
picture its size and closeness, let us relate the figures compared to our home -the Earth.
Our planet's diameter is 7,926 miles or 12,753 kilometers. Doing the math, Mercury's
width is actually only three-eighths of our globe. While the proximity of our planet on the
average is 93.5 million miles (one of the many factors why it is suitable for life) Mercury,
on the other hand, has a surface temperature enough to melt lead! The hotness can reach
up to 660F or 348C. Mercury, as the first rock from the Sun, has the shortest distance to
travel or has the shortest length to orbit. In fact, it will only take 88 earth-days to have a
one mercury-year. Though it is the fastest in travelling in terms of revolution, when it
comes to rotation, it will take 176 earth-days to accomplish a single mercury-day. Oddly,
its day is actually longer than its year.
Mercury has the most elliptical orbit out of the nine planets. Due to the peculiar angle
and rotational speed, supposedly, if a cosmonaut is on the surface of Mercury and
watches the Sun, he will find a strange sunrise and sunset. Given its being lopsidedness
and that it moves faster when it comes nearer to the sun, if he is on the right position, he
will watch the sun go rise, then set, and rise again! The same thing with its sunset; he will
view the sun set at first, then rise, and set down again. Another Mercury fact: though it
is close to the sun, because of its slow rotation on its axis, its long day is smoldering hot,
but during the long night, it is freezing cold. It goes down to -270F. That is why if a
scientist is going to invent a spacesuit for a spaceman who desires to visit Mercury; he
would have to design one that can withstand extreme temperature of coldness. Why not
consider a suit for heat too? Because if there is an ambitious spaceman to carry out a
mission to the said planet, it would be ideal to carry the voyage out only during
Mercury's night time -for no equipment to date can withstand such heat.
Further curious Mercury Fact, small
planets usually don't have an atmosphere.
Also, in comparison to our planetary habitat,
Mercury lacks water. Those deficiencies are
the one that "washes" the craters; they are
the reason why Mercury has so many craters.
In fact, it has more craters than our moon. If
there is an astronomer who watches the little
planet from a telescope, it would be an
amusing sight for him if he'll be able to
catch the 810 mile-stretch named Caloris
which literally translates to "heat". It was
named that way because it is the hottest spot of its surface. But the astronomer will need
an amount of luck to spot it. Why? Well, because Mercury seems to "hide" from Earth.
Another Mercury Fact is every time the tiny world is at the position nearest to us, it
is coincidentally also its nighttime, making it hard to be observed because of the lack of
sunlight. Getting around the problem, we could see its daytime but the sun will block it.
The best way to view it is on the other side of the sun where it is only a speck.
The Planets - Mercury
Do you know what is behind the name of the planet? Ancient Greeks referred to the
planet as Hermes, the messenger of the gods who moves swiftly. Today, the name was
adopted under the name of its Roman counterpart, Mercury. Speed was the factor behind
the name. Mercury was chosen because it was the planet to move the fastest out of the
other eight. Mercury's discoverer could be any commoner of the ancient times since it
can be seen with the naked eye -just like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Mercury, as
the planet being closest to the sun, was most of the time buried under the brilliance of the
huge star. That is why although it is up there for millennium to be observed, our known
Mercury facts were very limited.
The earliest known record of Mercury was by the Assyrian astronomer documented in
the Mul.Apin tablets. The first to examine it via telescope was Galileo during the
seventeenth century. Mercury goes through phases just like our moon: first it becomes
fully dark (called New Mercury) until it becomes fully lighted or Full Mercury. But
Galileo actually didn't see the phases since his early type of telescope does not have the
capacity to do let him do so. Then the Mariner 10 was launched by NASA on November
3, 1973 to take data from Mercury and Venus. Indeed, it was a success! Two days before
it was launched, equipments here have registered anomaly of receiving ultraviolet rays
outside Mercury, a near third party suspected to be a moon. But soon it traveled away
from the planet and found out that it was a star called 31 Crateris.
Many Mercury Facts was added to our
knowledge thanks to the voyage. Mariner
10 passed close to Venus for two times and
three times during its trip to Mercury. It was
then discovered that the history of the
hostile surface of Mercury was preserved.
During the early period when the planet was
formed to existence, materials around the
sun smashed and created many craters
around its globe. The Galilean telescope
was not enough to notice the craters back
during his time. But the voyage made it
possible. Mariner 10 also discovered the
day and night temperatures of Mercury. The data showed that they are in extremes: 660F
or 348C during the day, and -270F during the night.
Recent discoveries were made when another space project was conducted again by
NASA and launched the MESSENGER. It took off on August 2004 and was the first to
fully orbit the mercury on March 18, 2011; the Mariner 10 has only managed to take
pictures on only one side of the planet. Thanks to the ever progressing technology, other
advances were made by the MESSENGER when it took more than ten thousand of high
resolution images. It was another record made in history of mercury observation, since
the mariner 10 took photos in low resolution. An unexpected discovery was made when
the recent spacecraft found that there is water in the exosphere of Mercury. Another
finding was that the composition of the surface of the planet has a large quantity of sulfur
on it. Furthermore, history of volcanic activity was also found. Today, the European
Space Agency together with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is planning to launch
another not one, but two space probes to orbit Mercury. The mission will be called
The Wonders and Mysteries of the Planet Mercury
Do you know what the titles that the planet Mercury holds? We are taught in school
that it is the first rock from the sun. But that is just one; another record that "the quick
planet" holds is being the most elliptical in orbit. Since it is the inner most planet from
the sun, it has the shortest circuit to be travelled. Moving at about 29.8 miles a second it
just takes 88 days to complete its orbit. Remarkably, the wonders and mysteries of the
Planet Mercury don't end there. Do you know that there are only a handful of planets
where you can view it without any
visual enhancing equipment? Without
any kind of telescope and only with the
naked eye, you can see the planets
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, (and yes
you are right) Mercury is one of them!
The illumination devours the tiny planet
but you can view it just like a dot in the
sky during some particular sunrise and
sunsets. Furthermore, there are only two
planets on our solar system that has no
moon; do you know who one of them
is? Again, you are correct! Mercury and
Venus are moonless planets.
Mercury Facts: theoretically, what if you are to watch the sunrise and sunset on
Mercury? Would it be the same experience here on earth? If you are at the right position,
you will see the sun moving up and down like it seems the sun haven't decided yet if he
will rise or set down. Why? It's because of its eccentric orbit and speed change as
Mercury gets close to the sun. You will think that a distance of just about 29 million
miles away from the red hot disc, a low temperature is impossible to Mercury; but the
answer is -No. Actually, it travels fast but rotates slowly. One side of it will experience a
scorching long day while the opposite side will have a great time to cool from a melting
temperature of 660F or 348C to -270F.
Because of the NASA voyage of STEREO or Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory
on October 2006, astronomers found out that Mercury has a property like a comet -a tail.
The solar winds brush the tiny gas sphere of Mercury that it stretches for more than a
Million mile. The tail is substantially composed of Sodium atoms and is yellow-orange in
What will be our weight if we go to Mercury? The gravitational pull there will be
0.38% of our gravity here on earth. So if you weigh 150 lbs here, you will be 56.7 lbs on
Now, we have come to the mother of all mystery of the planet Mercury. Have you
ever heard of Mercury retrograde? It is the optical illusion of seeing the planet stop, and
then, it goes the opposite
depends on the position of
the viewer and the
travelling object being
viewed. Mercury as the
Roman messenger of the
gods was said that during
its retrograde, everything
will be in disorder. Some
electronic mails will be
lost, relationships during
the period will have a
rough time, mode of
transportations will be a
contract signing are
advised to be halted.
Believers said it is the best
time to reflect during its occurrence. Is it a Mercury Fact? Yes it does go in retrograde
and actually happens three to four times a year; but the ill-fated experiences can all just
be a Mercury Myth.