Showing posts with label Mercury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mercury. Show all posts

Mar 18, 2016

Spring Sunshine

The Sun's light reaches the surface of Earth about 8 minutes after it left the surface of the Sun. It takes 3 minutes to reach Mercury and about 4 hours to reach Neptune.

Jul 24, 2015

Pluto and the Naming of the Planets

With all the publicity surrounding the recent photos of Pluto, Seems fitting to look at it and the other (real) planets and how they received their names. Pluto is the largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun.

It had been discovered many times by astronomers, who did not realize what they found. It was discovered 'for real' in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, and was originally considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet fell into question following the discovery of several objects of similar size, in particular Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. This led the International Astronomical Union to define the term planet formally for the first time. This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category. The other dwarf planets are Ceres, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake (sic).

The tradition of naming planets after mythological gods was passed continued after Roman names for the five extraterrestrial planets they were aware of.
  • Earth is the only planet not named for a mythological god.
  • Venus is named after the goddess of love. It is thought this planet got its name from the fact that it is “pretty” to look at as the third most bright object in our solar system in the sky as viewed from Earth (after the Sun and the Moon).
  • Mercury is named after the god of thievery, tradesmen or commerce, and travel. It is thought that the planet probably was named such due to how quickly, relatively speaking, it travels across the sky.
  • Pluto, although no longer a "real" planet is named after the god of the underworld. The name was proposed by Venetia Burney, a then eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology.
  • Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture. It followed the Greek designation for Cronus. In modern Greek, the planet retains its ancient name Cronus—Κρόνος: Kronos.
  • Neptune was named after the god of the sea. It got its name thanks to the fact that it has a blue color.
  • Uranus is named after the very early god of the sky (and father to the Titans).
  • Mars was named after the Roman god of war. It’s thought that it was labeled such based on the reddish hue of the planet, relating to blood.
  • Jupiter is named after the god of thunder and the sky, and king of the gods. It is probable that it was named such as it is the largest non-star in our solar system.
Incidentally, many languages have their own name for Earth, such as ‘terra’ in Portuguese, ‘dünya’ in Turkish and ‘aarde’ in Dutch. However, the common thread in all languages is that they were all derived from the same meaning, which is ‘ ground’ or ‘soil’. The modern English word and name for our planet Earth likely extends back more than 1,000 years. The name was also found in early English translations from the bible.

Nov 1, 2013

A Diversion

This guy moves like Mercury. If you want to give your mind a break for a few minutes, watch this video.   LINK

Sep 16, 2011

CFL Light Bulb Facts

CFLs burn out rapidly when they’re not allowed to rest at least 15 minutes between being cycled off and on. They overheat and fail if they are used in recessed ceiling canisters

CFL floodlights in outdoor motion-sensor systems is bad because of how fast the bulbs expire when they have to flick on and off so quickly. CFLs contain mercury, enough that the Environmental Protection Agency’s cleanup instructions for a broken bulb run three pages and start with a warning to open windows and evacuate people and pets.

Apr 15, 2011


Louis Jacques Daguerre was close to becoming the first person to develop a practical process for producing photographs in the early 1800s. He figured out how to expose an image onto highly polished plates covered with silver iodide, a substance known to be sensitive to light. The images he was producing on these polished plates were barely visible, and he didn’t know how to make them darker.

After producing yet another disappointing image one day, Daguerre tossed the silverized plate in his chemical cabinet, intending to clean it off later. But when he went back a few days later, the image had darkened to the point where it was perfectly visible. Daguerre realized that one of the chemicals in the cabinet had somehow reacted with the silver iodide, but he had no way of know which one it was. Below is him in a colorized daguerreotype.

For weeks, Daguerre took one chemical out of the cabinet every day and put it in with a newly exposed plate. But every day, he found a less-than-satisfactory image. Finally, as he was testing the last chemical, he got the idea to put the plate in the now-empty cabinet, as he had done the first time. Sure enough, the image on the plate darkened. Daguerre carefully examined the shelves of the cabinet and found what he was looking for. Weeks earlier, a thermometer in the cabinet had broken and left a few drops of mercury on the shelf. it was the mercury vapor interacting with the silver iodide that produced the darker image. Daguerre incorporated mercury vapor into his process, and the Daguerreotype photograph was born.