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Below is the Twitter Stream for @doctorjeff for MESSENGER’s 3rd flyby of Mercury. Dates covered in this archive: 9/28-10/3 2009

October 1st

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OK, doctorjeff signing off from the Applied Physics Lab!!!!! GO MESSENGER. GO TEAM. [doctorjeff]
4:35pm via Twitter
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@Nancy_A What image r scientists most intrigued by? A: really hard 2 tell…they were going ooooh & aaaah to EVERY image! That’s science 2! [doctorjeff]
4:29pm via Twitter
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Answer to challenge. If you weigh 200 lbs on Earth you weigh 76 lbs on Mercury. Surface gravity is only 38% of that on our home world. [doctorjeff]
4:20pm via Twitter
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I’ll b signing off in about 15 minutes. Hope this was fun for folks out there. Stay tuned to Blog on the Universe for the next adventure. [doctorjeff]
4:16pm via Twitter
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Well, some Fellows r beginning to leave 4 airport. Some r staying 4 public talk. @porchdragon will be tweeting after the public talk. [doctorjeff]
4:15pm via Twitter
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Someone in the room said “HEY, YOU’RE LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE!!” watch it buddy. Everyone laughed. [doctorjeff]
4:11pm via Twitter
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Someone walked in the door at the front of the room, looked at us and said “hey this looks like some bad horror movie I’ve seen”. [doctorjeff]
4:10pm via Twitter
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We also looked at stereo images taken by camera of region on the surface near Rembrandt crater basin. We all had cool red&blue glasses on!! [doctorjeff]
4:09pm via Twitter
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The data was getting interesting when the spacecraft went to Safe Mode. It was an “oh well” moment. [doctorjeff]
4:07pm via Twitter
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The magnetometer team was looking at the magnetic field and its interactions with wind of particles coming from the sun – the solar wind. [doctorjeff]
4:06pm via Twitter
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Prior flybys indicted a very Moon-like elemental composition. [doctorjeff]
4:05pm via Twitter
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The neutron spectrometer looks at neutrons coming from surface & their signature provides understanding of elements (not minerals). [doctorjeff]
4:04pm via Twitter
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@Nancy_A Any discussion of bright spot during briefing? A: no, we heard about neutron spectrometer, magnetometer, and looked at cratering. [doctorjeff]
4:02pm via Twitter
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Challenge 5: Announcing Dr Jeff’s sure fire diet. U weigh 200 lbs on Earth. On Mercury u weigh? Have a Mercury burger WANT THE ANSWER?? [doctorjeff]
4:00pm via Twitter
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Answer to another challenge: from Mercury, is Earth seen to go thru phases like out Moon? A: Nope. It is always seen as “full” [doctorjeff]
3:57pm via Twitter
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Any questions? [doctorjeff]
3:56pm via Twitter
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@ditcody but NASA could extend mission based on spacecraft health. Then ops will cease but dead spacecraft will continue to orbit for ??? [doctorjeff]
3:55pm via Twitter
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@ditcody how long Messenger in orbit around Mercury? A: science ops for at least 1 year after orbit insertion in March 2011. [doctorjeff]
3:54pm via Twitter
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b water ice. MESSENGER on prior flyby detected water in Mercury’s EXTREMELY thin atmosphere. So thin, it’s almost non-existant [doctorjeff]
3:53pm via Twitter
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@Room508AESchool student wants 2 know if there’s water on mercury A: observations by radar on Earth indicated many years ago what may … [doctorjeff]
3:52pm via Twitter
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Back from the science team briefing. Want to give you an update. First answer some questions that were waiting for me. [doctorjeff]
3:47pm via Twitter
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Ok, I’m here about 15 minutes early. Not sure if anyone is out there right now. Holler if ub. [doctorjeff]
3:47pm via Twitter
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Ok here is answer to next challenge: from Earth is Mercury seen to go thru phases like the Moon? YES!!! But can’t see it w unaided eye! [doctorjeff]
11:57am via Twitter
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Any questions out there? [doctorjeff]
11:48am via Twitter
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Riddle answr: what’s hottest planet? U might think Mercury, closest to Sun. But nope, it’s Venus at over 900 deg F -GREENHOUSE EFFECT. [doctorjeff]
11:47am via Twitter
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@ WebGalPat @doctorjeff At least I am trying Dr. Jeff! Gimme a few points for that! whine whine whine.. You get 200,000 Ruff Ruffman points [doctorjeff]
11:29am via Twitter
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Twitter is running pretty slow. Sorry!! [doctorjeff]
11:28am via Twitter
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You study the family of planets. It is called “Comparative Planetology” [doctorjeff]
11:25am via Twitter
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And if you want to study the processes associated with volcanism, or magnetic field, or atmosphere …..u don’t just study ONE planet. [doctorjeff]
11:24am via Twitter
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And if you want to study the processes associated with volcanism, or magneti [doctorjeff]
11:23am via Twitter
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That condition will present differently in different people. [doctorjeff]
11:20am via Twitter
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AND… if you want to study a condition across the human population, say a study of a particular cancer, you cannot just study one person. [doctorjeff]
11:20am via Twitter
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Planets are like people, there are common threads that bind them all, but each can have dramatically different personalities. [doctorjeff]
11:19am via Twitter
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AND we have a rapid rotation, so within a 24 hour period surface sees both nite and day (except near poles.) [doctorjeff]
11:18am via Twitter
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We luckily have an nice thick atmosphere (or we would not be here) which strongly moderates temperature variation nite to day. [doctorjeff]
11:17am via Twitter
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Back to temperature …. on Earth’s equator you’re not going to see much day to nite temp variation. [doctorjeff]
11:16am via Twitter
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@WebGalPat @doctorjeff now I gotta do some math I haven’t done since HS! NO BIGGY circumference = pi x diameter [doctorjeff]
11:16am via Twitter

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@MThellfire Thanks @messenger2011 and @doctorjeff 4 some of most interesting Mercury discussions I have heard! UB WELCOME! [doctorjeff]
11:15am via Twitter
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@WebGalPat Oooo…that’s not right..that’s the equatorial diameter..not circumference! Back to the drawing board! HEY U WERE CLOSE!! [doctorjeff]
11:13am via Twitter
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When you’re a planet with essentially no atmosphere, and your surface is dark and open to the vacuum of space, you get REALLY COLD. [doctorjeff]
11:11am via Twitter
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Hey, even on the planet closest to the sun, night lasts 88 earth days on the equator!! File that in your Mercury cool facts folder. [doctorjeff]
11:09am via Twitter
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Over your 6.6 day drive, you see a temp variation of over 1,100 degrees F! You probably now don’t want to go! [doctorjeff]
11:08am via Twitter
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U drive around Mercury’s equator in your car at 60 mph, taking 6.6 days. Driving thru nite side, temp is -300 deg F. On day: +842 deg F. [doctorjeff]
11:07am via Twitter
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@cosmicfrog Once Messenger is in orbit around Mercury, how long will each orbit take? A: 12 hours [doctorjeff]
11:01am via Twitter
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Ready 4 answer to Challenge 2? As u drive around MERC equator at 60 mph, taking 6.6 days, what temperature variation would u experience? [doctorjeff]
10:56am via Twitter
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Anyone surprised?? [doctorjeff]
10:46am via Twitter
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Answer 2 challenge 1. Pat close-circumference of Mercury is 15,300 km or 9,500 miles. To drive it at 60 mph will take 158 hrs = 6.6 days [doctorjeff]
10:46am via Twitter
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@WebGalPat 3032/60 = 50.5333333333 OK A TRY!! My question Pat, what’s 3032? What’s 60? [doctorjeff]
10:40am via Twitter
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Anyone have an answer for first Challenge? How long will it take to drive around Mercury’s equator at 60 mph (1,00 Km/hr)? Guesses fine! [doctorjeff]
10:30am via Twitter
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Science is a journey … [doctorjeff]
10:29am via Twitter
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This is science … this is engineering. It is a human story. Don’t let ANYONE TELL YOU SCIENCE IS JUST A BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE. [doctorjeff]
10:29am via Twitter
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In that vein, let me repeat – [doctorjeff]
10:28am via Twitter
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Will pick up on the human and emotional experience these last two days a bit later. [doctorjeff]
10:28am via Twitter
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@Nancy_A @doctorjeff We got imaging data (MDIS), spectral data (MASCS) and neutron data (NS). I think imaging very exciting. [doctorjeff]
10:27am via Twitter
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@Nancy_A Was any science data gathered frm flyby 3, or just images? What looks most enticing sofar? First, images are PART of the science. [doctorjeff]
10:25am via Twitter
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@ cosmicfrog @doctorjeff What do u think dark blue spots on Mercury could be? A: represents compositional difference, MAYBE more titanium [doctorjeff]
10:21am via Twitter
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@cosmicfrog If you walk slowly, the shuttle is 40,000 x faster than u. Light is 40,000 x faster than shuttle. Why is that slow? [doctorjeff]
10:19am via Twitter
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@cosmicfrog Q: Why do scientists use Radio waves to communicate if they are the slowest? A: they’re not, they’re MOVING AT SPEED OF LIGHT! [doctorjeff]
10:18am via Twitter
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Caloris Basin’s about the size of Texas (or France.) [doctorjeff]
10:15am via Twitter
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What is most exciting surface feature revealed by MESSENGER? A: the enormous Caloris Basin which was only seen on the limb by Mariner 10. [doctorjeff]
10:14am via Twitter
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Ok, I guess I’ll need to ask and answer some questions? [doctorjeff]
10:13am via Twitter
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@cosmicfrog @doctorjeff Do you think that Mercury formed when Earth wass formed? A: yes, they formed in same geologic time period. [doctorjeff]
10:12am via Twitter
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Any questions? [doctorjeff]
10:08am via Twitter
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Ok, we are officially in the Q&A session. GO!!! and I’ll throw in the Challenges as we go. [doctorjeff]
10:04am via Twitter
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This is science … this is engineering. It is a human story. Don’t let ANYONE TELL YOU SCIENCE IS JUST A BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE. [doctorjeff]
10:03am via Twitter
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I have lots 2 tell about this story … the emotions, what was said at the team meeting yesterday, and elation that MESSENGER was fine. [doctorjeff]
10:02am via Twitter
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And MESSENGER was now on the far side of Mercury unable to communicate with Earth until it came out of this "Earth Occultation" [doctorjeff]
10:02am via Twitter
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The most important things – was spacecraft A ok, was the gravity assist – vital for orbital insertion in 2011 – successful. [doctorjeff]
10:01am via Twitter
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The scientists were not in the picture. They stood behind the engineering team that was now at the plate … and hoped for a good outcome. [doctorjeff]
10:00am via Twitter
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waded into the problem. Why did we loose signal? What could explain it? Should we take actions now or do we need 2 think thru pbm more? [doctorjeff]
9:59am via Twitter
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The engineering team, lead by Eric Finnegan, instantly stepped to the plate. With their emotions in check, very professionally they …. [doctorjeff]
9:58am via Twitter
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When the signal was lost, one team member said he got a pit in his stomach. [doctorjeff]
9:57am via Twitter
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The engineers and scientists have been working on this mission for 10 years. MESSENGER is their baby, now 70 million miles from home. [doctorjeff]
9:56am via Twitter
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While we’re waiting 4 10am, thought I’d tell u about the human side behind the briefing yesterday morning RE the Safe Mode of spacecraft. [doctorjeff]
9:55am via Twitter
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You might want 2 project this special Twitter stream in front of room. Has my tweets on left and replies on right. http://bit.ly/QlvA0 [doctorjeff]
9:44am via Twitter
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Can folks help RT this! We’re gearing up for the 10-12 EDT Twitter Q&A for MESSENGER. -Jeff [doctorjeff]
9:40am via Twitter
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@InvasiveNotes @Melanie42 @XiNeutrino @TaviGreiner @Space_Pete

GO TEAM! U guys are part of the team now!! Thx for RT!!! -dj [doctorjeff]

9:38am via Twitter
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RT @queechies @doctorjeff Thx 4 posting pic of Venus and Mercury in the sky. I witnessed it with my 5 yr old this AM. -VERY COOL!! -dj [doctorjeff]
9:36am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 7: Oct 1, 2009. What’s the date on Earth when Mercury completes the orbit of the Sun it starts tomorrow? [doctorjeff]
9:34am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 6: you’re standing on Mercury in BLAZING DAYLIGHT, with your back to the Sun and the sky is … what color? [doctorjeff]
9:33am via Twitter
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Riddle me this – is Mercury the hottest planet? Dr Riddler [doctorjeff]
9:32am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 5: Announcing Dr Jeff’s sure fire diet. U weigh 200 lbs on Earth. On Mercury u weigh? Have a Mercury burger [doctorjeff]
9:32am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 4: from Mercury would we see Earth go thru phases like Moon? [doctorjeff]
9:31am via Twitter
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Dump the "For tomorrow" in last challenges! Its for today at 10 AM EDT! Sorry. [doctorjeff]
9:31am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 3: from Earth do we see Mercury go thru phases like Moon? [doctorjeff]
9:30am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 2 for tmorrow: u drive around equator once at 60 mph. What temperatures did u experience on yr drive? Was it all hot hot? [doctorjeff]
9:30am via Twitter
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RT Challenge 1 for tomorrow: UR on Mercury with cool car. How long would it take to drive around its equator once at 60 mph (100 km/hr)? [doctorjeff]
9:29am via Twitter
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Want to repost here: [doctorjeff]
9:28am via Twitter
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I put out some MERCURY CHALLENGES yestrdy 2 get kids (of all ages) thinkin in advance of 10 AM EDT Q&A here at mission control. [doctorjeff]
9:28am via Twitter
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We’re gearing up for the 10-12 EDT Twitter Q&A for MESSENGER. I’m here. Can folks help me RT this? -Jeff [doctorjeff]
9:14am via Twitter
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Example-Challenge 7: tomorrow’s Oct 1, 2009. What’s the date on Earth when Mercury completes the orbit of the Sun it starts tomorrow? [doctorjeff]
7:26am via Twitter
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Lastnite I tweeted Mercury Challenges to kids (all ages) for live twitter Q&A tday 10-12 EDT: See Tweet archive http://bit.ly/TPkkz [doctorjeff]
7:24am via Twitter

September 30th

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RT Challenge 7: tomorrow’s Oct 1, 2009. What’s the date on Earth when Mercury completes the orbit of the Sun it starts tomorrow? [doctorjeff]
8:01pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 6 for tmorrow: you’re standing on Mercury in BLAZING DAYLIGHT, with your back to the Sun and the sky is … what color? [doctorjeff]
7:55pm via Twitter
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Riddle me this – is Mercury the hottest planet? Dr Riddler [doctorjeff]
7:51pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 5 for tmorrow: Announcing Dr Jeff’s sure fire diet. U weigh 200 lbs on Earth. On Mercury u weigh? Have a Mercury burger [doctorjeff]
7:49pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 4 for tmorrow: from Mercury would we see Earth go thru phases like Moon? [doctorjeff]
7:43pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 3 for tmorrow: from Earth do we see Mercury go thru phases like Moon? [doctorjeff]
7:42pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 2 for tmorrow: u drive around equator once at 60 mph. What temperatures did u experience on yr drive? Was it all hot hot? [doctorjeff]
7:40pm via Twitter
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RT Challenge 1 for tomorrow: UR on Mercury with cool car. How long would it take to drive around its equator once at 60 mph (100 km/hr)? [doctorjeff]
7:37pm via Twitter
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Back with Fellows tomorrow (Thursday). First Twitter on-air session: 10 am to 12 noon EDT tomorrow with Q&A from you all!! [doctorjeff]
5:49pm via Twitter
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Meeting just concluded. [doctorjeff]
4:54pm via Twitter
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RT @louisajag @doctorjeff Lucy and Charlotte, both 8th graders, say thank you. Very cool info!! You are welcome. [doctorjeff]
4:54pm via Twitter
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Those images were taken by something WE sent to within 140 miles of Mercury, & transmitted to Earth 70 million miles away – to YOU. [doctorjeff]
4:53pm via Twitter
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Still listening to Bepicolombo group. Hey! Now FIVE MESSENGER IMAGES at web site http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/ [doctorjeff]
4:50pm via Twitter
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RT @louisajag A student wants to what’s the closest that messenger is to Mercury when it does a flyby? A: 140 miles above surface. [doctorjeff]
4:47pm via Twitter
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RT @elakdawalla @doctorjeff If MESS now bk 2 normal, should b doing satellite searches in hour. A: In lite of anomaly no science until Sat. [doctorjeff]
4:45pm via Twitter
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….. dizzy …. I’m feeling the effects of a split personality! [doctorjeff]
4:35pm via Twitter
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Have we seen all of Mercury now? MESSENGER has extended what we’ve seen to 90% (5% from this flyby). Still have not seen polar regions. [doctorjeff]
4:30pm via Twitter
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Dr Jeff, how much does MESSENGER weigh. Dr. Jeff it weighs about the same as a car. [doctorjeff]
4:29pm via Twitter
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Dr Jeff can I see Mercury i the sky? What a grt Q Dr Jeff!! YES RIGHT NOW BEFORE SUNRISE!! See Blog on the Universe for where and how! [doctorjeff]
4:28pm via Twitter
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Dr. Jeff Does Mercury have any moons?? Another good Q Dr Jeff!! A: we’ve never seen one, but MESSENGER was 2 look now-but didn’t. [doctorjeff]
4:27pm via Twitter
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(Have to ask my own questions I see.) [doctorjeff]
4:25pm via Twitter
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Doctor Jeff, is Mercury really really really close to the Sun?? Good Q Dr Jeff: No it is not. [doctorjeff]
4:25pm via Twitter
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RT @TeacherTweets If you just study one human being(or kid), you won’t know as much about the human race as … YES KIDS TOO! -dj [doctorjeff]
4:24pm via Twitter
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We’re listening to the European mission info. right now. Any questions from you all on Mercury / MESSENGER? [doctorjeff]
4:17pm via Twitter
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We’re now hearing from a team from Italy on the Bepicolombo spacecraft mission to Mercury. [doctorjeff]
4:13pm via Twitter
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If you want to study the solar system, Mercury has an important piece of the story to tell, as does Venus, Earth, Mars, and moons, etc [doctorjeff]
3:55pm via Twitter
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Here’s a way to look at it. If you just study one human being, you won’t know as much about the human race as if you study many humans. [doctorjeff]
3:54pm via Twitter
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These kinds of studies, when looking across the rocky planets – can be used to help reveal the HISTORY OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. Pretty cool. [doctorjeff]
3:53pm via Twitter
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Studies of cratering on Moon and age of Moon rocks derived from Apollo, give Moon’s surface age. Can be extended to Mercury. [doctorjeff]
3:51pm via Twitter
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If volcanic outflow occurred more recently it would have covered up lots of old craters, so cratering on this surface will be less. [doctorjeff]
3:50pm via Twitter
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A younger surface means it formed more recently by e.g. volcanic outflow solidifying on surface. [doctorjeff]
3:49pm via Twitter
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Now we hearing about how the age of a planetary surface can be derived from crater counts. More craters seen – older surface. [doctorjeff]
3:48pm via Twitter
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We can see scarps cutting thru craters. So crater must be older. If crater was formed after scarp then scarp would not be seen in crater. [doctorjeff]
3:44pm via Twitter
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We can see the altitude variation of the scarp. Along the length of these long features there’s a drop to a lower plain – a lower floor. [doctorjeff]
3:40pm via Twitter
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FYI – Mercury’s surface looks very similar to our Moon. [doctorjeff]
3:38pm via Twitter
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Lots evidence of "lobate scarps" on Merc, long linear ridges often 100 miles long. Taken as evidence planet shrunk & these r ‘wrinkles’ [doctorjeff]
3:36pm via Twitter
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Basin is 160 miles across. Check out the newly released photo!! I just sent you the URL. [doctorjeff]
3:28pm via Twitter
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We’re seeing this great basin with concentric surface features. Here it is http://bit.ly/VJFI8 [doctorjeff]
3:25pm via Twitter
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They’ve already put tgether mosaic of photos taken by Narrow Angle Camera. Each photo’s of small region so they have to piece tgether. [doctorjeff]
3:18pm via Twitter
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Cool approach image! [doctorjeff]
3:16pm via Twitter
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We’re now going to get some highlights on surface features seen by MESSENGER during flyby 3 (let’s call it M3). [doctorjeff]
3:16pm via Twitter
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Fellows have been choosing the images taken by MESSENGER during flyby 3 to put up on website. [doctorjeff]
3:14pm via Twitter
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Passed on the Fellows trained over 14,000 teachers since MESSENGER mission inception on grade K-12 solar system content. Pretty cool. [doctorjeff]
3:14pm via Twitter
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To the entire Science Team. [doctorjeff]
3:13pm via Twitter
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Dave is introducing the MESSENGER Fellows!! [doctorjeff]
3:13pm via Twitter
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Spacecraft is now nominal and all systems fully functional. [doctorjeff]
3:07pm via Twitter
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Going over what science was done /not done due to spacecraft going into Safe mode. [doctorjeff]
3:07pm via Twitter
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gotta watch out for those pesky typos!! (reely) [doctorjeff]
3:04pm via Twitter
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In science team meeting and tweeting. Cool. Briefing on prelim science results. [doctorjeff]
3:03pm via Twitter
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Off to science meeting. Hope I can tweet from there!!

Jeff [doctorjeff]

3:00pm via Twitter
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RT @engineer27 doesn’t that also count as unique? Yes, but big obvious difference is orbital eccentricity. GR is a small but visible effect. [doctorjeff]
2:59pm via Twitter
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Did you know: Mercury rotates so slowly that if you walked leisurely forever westward, you’d never seen the Sun set. [doctorjeff]
2:56pm via Twitter
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RT @engineer27 GR is needed to explain a residual effect in the precession of the orbit. Mr. Newton cannot do it alone. [doctorjeff]
2:54pm via Twitter
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RT @engineer27 i thought it was relativistic effects are much more pronounced. A: GR does not explain the non-circular nature of orbit. [doctorjeff]
2:53pm via Twitter
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But Noon to Noon (a solar day) one rotation with respect to the Sun, is 176 earth days long. [doctorjeff]
2:49pm via Twitter
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Mercury takes 88 days to orbit the Sun = 1 Mercury year. [doctorjeff]
2:48pm via Twitter
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Mercury rotates slowly with respect to stars. One day star rise to star rise = 59 earth days. [doctorjeff]
2:48pm via Twitter
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What makes Merc orbit diff frm other planets? Orbit is most non-circular of planets. From surface over yr, Sun’s apparent size doubles!! [doctorjeff]
2:47pm via Twitter
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Want to learn about the sun shade, keeping MESSENGER from getting too hot? http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/spacecraft/thermal.html [doctorjeff]
2:41pm via Twitter
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RT @anniee_rockstar what makes messenger able to get close to sun & dont melt? A: it has a sunshade (and doesn’t get too close) [doctorjeff]
2:35pm via Twitter
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RT @anniee_rockstar @doctorjeff we have just sent you an email with question of all this stuff. GOSH LOTS OF QUESTIONS! let me answer a few [doctorjeff]
2:33pm via Twitter
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RT @cascadilla_NY We are so happy to hear that MESSENGER is healthy and are enjoying the new pics now. Thanks! -So is everyone here!!! [doctorjeff]
2:30pm via Twitter
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RT @queechies possibility: basin is lowland depression, fills with magma from volcanic outflow, weight of magma causes surface extensions. [doctorjeff]
2:29pm via Twitter
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RT @queechies In nw basin, describes troughs caused by surface extensions. Wht causes them? tectonic plates? A: no evidence of PT activity. [doctorjeff]
2:28pm via Twitter
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RT @Room508AESchool My students want to know how long it took to build and make the Messnger. – About 4 years and it launched in 2004 [doctorjeff]
2:23pm via Twitter
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Let’s do some Q&A [doctorjeff]
2:20pm via Twitter
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Sorry – just got back, took longer to get sandwich at Subway than expected! [doctorjeff]
2:19pm via Twitter
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I’ll be back at 2:00 PM EDT. Will answer questions, & give u emotional sense of what it was like when the ‘crisis’ hit yesterday. Important. [doctorjeff]
1:37pm via Twitter
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Ok, we’re at 11. But it was like pulling teeth! Here you go. http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/ [doctorjeff]
1:33pm via Twitter
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RT @queechies maybe they are all watching porchdragon’s broadcast – HEY @PORCHDRAGON – u stealing my thunder? [doctorjeff]
1:31pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @Nancy_A I’m here, too…. -Yes but that doesn’t count, you didn’t ask to see the pictures. [doctorjeff]
1:29pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
I just got a ‘show me the pictures!" email. That’s 9. [doctorjeff]
1:28pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
That’s 8. (Gosh why not 108?) [doctorjeff]
1:27pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @Zarquil But an enthusiastic one, right? – YES YES [doctorjeff]
1:26pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
I see I have a few questions to answer, but let’s get some more yeses first so I can send you to the photos. Only 7 folks out there???? [doctorjeff]
1:26pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT queechies @doctorjeff I’ve seen them (I think), I have a question. Oh no she knows where they are! We’re up to 7. [doctorjeff]
1:25pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
This counts as just 1: RT @Zarquil @doctorjeff Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes [doctorjeff]
1:24pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Up to just 6. [doctorjeff]
1:22pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Look, if you’re blocked on twitter & reading this on our alternate feeds, here, my email: @ncesse.org”>jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org Let me know you’re there. [doctorjeff]
1:22pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Hey, where IS EVERYBODY?????????????? SHOW ME YOU’RE THERE!!!! [doctorjeff]
1:21pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Ok, half way there, I’ve got 5 we want to see its so far. [doctorjeff]
1:20pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
OK I ‘m up to 3, 7 more and I’ll take you there. [doctorjeff]
1:19pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Let me know I’m not just sending tweet into empty space. I’ll look at my email and see if anything came in there too from you! [doctorjeff]
1:18pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
OK. I have just ONE message "yes we want to see it". I’d like to see 10 folks out there say "Yes we want to see it". [doctorjeff]
1:18pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
One image has the 5% of the surface of Mercury NEVER BEFORE SEEN BY THE HUMAN RACE. Still no takers? [doctorjeff]
1:16pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Nobody wants to see them? [doctorjeff]
1:15pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The Fellows are creating the captions, and now 4 are posted. U want to see the images taken by the spacecraft you’ve been following? [doctorjeff]
1:13pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The MESSENGER Fellows are now going through the photos taken by MESSENGER yesterday, and with imaging team are selecting for web post. [doctorjeff]
1:12pm via Twitter
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At this point, only the polar regions of Mercury have never been seen. [doctorjeff]
1:05pm via Twitter
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This was very important data for the team planning the orbit for MESSENGER when it goes into Mercury orbit in 2011. That’s GREAT!! [doctorjeff]
1:04pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
More good news: before Safe Mode, MESSENGER photographed 5% more of Mercury that has never been seen. That was a key goal this flyby. [doctorjeff]
1:03pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Phase 3: science conducted over a 2 week period that is to start this Saturday. The plan is to conduct all Phase 3 science as planned. [doctorjeff]
1:01pm via Twitter
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A little more than half of all science to b done during Core phase has been lost. It was not conducted due to Safe Mode. [doctorjeff]
1:00pm via Twitter
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Phase 2: Core phase starting about 4 days before Close Approach & ending about 4 days after. Phase was supposed to end this Saturday. [doctorjeff]
12:59pm via Twitter
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Phase 1 – Pre-encounter – 2 weeks of observations that ended about 4 days before Close approach. All data secure for this phase. [doctorjeff]
12:58pm via Twitter
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Some bad news: there were three phases of science investigations. [doctorjeff]
12:57pm via Twitter
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Second piece of good news: the gravity assist required for MESSENGER to be on a trajectory for orbital insertion in 2011 WAS SUCCESSFUL. [doctorjeff]
12:55pm via Twitter
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So first piece of good news: spacecraft is fine. [doctorjeff]
12:54pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The spacecraft is now back in normal mode, it’s in GREAT SHAPE, and all science data acquired before going 2 Safe Mode is now on Earth. [doctorjeff]
12:54pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
They’re not sure yet why autonomous system didn’t like the switch to onboard batteries. Remember, it did this fine on other 2 flybys. [doctorjeff]
12:52pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Medium Safe Mode. [doctorjeff]
12:50pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Controllers in the Mission Operation Center then determine that the spacecraft was NOT in normal mode but had put itself in … [doctorjeff]
12:50pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
After this blackout (after this Earth Occultation phase) the signal is re-acquired by the NASA Deep Space Network. [doctorjeff]
12:49pm via Twitter
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relative 2 Earth, and there is a blackout for 51 minutes!! Imagine you’re one of the engineers or scientists in the midst of this! [doctorjeff]
12:46pm via Twitter
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Other scary part – 6 min before close approach signal is lost, then 8 minutes after close approach the spacecraft goes behind planet … [doctorjeff]
12:45pm via Twitter
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RT @prepa5 is there a link so we can see the transmission of the messenger?? – A: no, there is no way for you to get any live feed. [doctorjeff]
12:42pm via Twitter
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The scary part – the team back here on Earth didn’t know if their baby was safe some 70 million miles away. [doctorjeff]
12:40pm via Twitter
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All science investigations at that point were halted, and the data obtained by the science instruments until that point was saved. [doctorjeff]
12:39pm via Twitter
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The autonomous system put spacecraft into Medium Safe Mode 8 min after it went into Eclipse (into dark side) & 6 min befor close approach [doctorjeff]
12:38pm via Twitter
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When spacecraft went 2 battery power as it passed to dark side of the planet, the autonomous system interpreted the event as a pbm. [doctorjeff]
12:35pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
So back to yesterday. [doctorjeff]
12:34pm via Twitter
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So let’s batten down the hatches until I hear from Earth. [doctorjeff]
12:32pm via Twitter
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The idea is MESSENGER says "ok something appears wrong, I need to let Earth know, and I may need to wait for an answer for a while." [doctorjeff]
12:32pm via Twitter
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Mededium Safe includes locking down all the science instruments. [doctorjeff]
12:31pm via Twitter
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The idea of a safe mode is to have the spacecraft go into a lock down and protect itself. [doctorjeff]
12:30pm via Twitter
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There are actually 2 safe modes. 1) Medium safe, &, 2) gosh I hope we don’t have to go into really safe – called Earth Acquisition mode. [doctorjeff]
12:30pm via Twitter
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If the spacecraft sees some reading that’s not normal, one approach is to put the entire spacecraft into a ‘safe’ mode. [doctorjeff]
12:28pm via Twitter
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Ever since launch, this system checks out a HUGE number of spacecraft health signs 50 TIMES EVERY SECOND. [doctorjeff]
12:26pm via Twitter
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So the spacecraft has to be smart enough to check for problems and deal with them. It has an ‘autonomous’ system to do that. [doctorjeff]
12:25pm via Twitter
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So if spacecraft sees a problem, & says 2 Earth "What do I do?" It would need 2 wait 13 min for an answer-assuming we’ve got an answer. [doctorjeff]
12:24pm via Twitter
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The round trip radio communication time is 13 min right now. Radio is a flavor of light, so even at that fantastic speed – 13 min. [doctorjeff]
12:23pm via Twitter
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Observations by the suite of science instruments were ongoing. [doctorjeff]
12:21pm via Twitter
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Eclipse started 14min before Close Approach. At that time MESSENGER switched to battery power from power normally from solar panels. [doctorjeff]
12:19pm via Twitter
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Ok back to what happened. [doctorjeff]
12:17pm via Twitter
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RT MESSENGER now live via Web 2.0! [doctorjeff]
12:16pm via Twitter
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It’s prime time for schools across the nation. [doctorjeff]
12:16pm via Twitter
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Anybody out there listening in? This is the regularly scheduled on air time. -dj [doctorjeff]
12:15pm via Twitter
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Third is "Earth Occultation", when spacecraft is on far side of planet relative to Earth so we cannot communicate with it or it with us. [doctorjeff]
12:15pm via Twitter
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Second is Eclipse, when the spacecraft goes out of sunlight as it passes on the dark side of the planet. [doctorjeff]
12:14pm via Twitter
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To undrstnd what happened u need 2 know about 3 events for timeline. First is Close Approach, when spacecraft is closest 2 Mercury. [doctorjeff]
12:13pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
For those of you that would like to see my Twitter archive from yesterday to see what transpired: http://bit.ly/TPkkz [doctorjeff]
12:09pm via Twitter
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The signal was reacquired and before telling this story, let me say THE SPACECRAFT IS FINE. [doctorjeff]
12:06pm via Twitter
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For those of you that were not following yesterday, about 6 minutes before close encounter yesterday, MESSENGER’s signal was lost. [doctorjeff]
12:05pm via Twitter
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We got out of the briefing about 30 minutes ago, and put together the timeline of what happened. I’d like to pass that along right now. [doctorjeff]
12:04pm via Twitter
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But science investigations after that have been impacted. Am going to briefing now. Will give you deeper update. [doctorjeff]
10:57am via Twitter
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This includes images! We’re seeing some right now. [doctorjeff]
10:56am via Twitter
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All science data – imaging, and non-imaging data, that was to be acquired up to 7 minutes before close approach appears to be fine. [doctorjeff]
10:56am via Twitter
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Something had happened that caused the vehicle to go to safe mode, which takes the science instruments off line. [doctorjeff]
10:54am via Twitter
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But the spacecraft was not in normal operating mode. It became clear that it had put itself into a "safe" mode. [doctorjeff]
10:50am via Twitter
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When last I left you, the spacecraft signal was indeed picked up! [doctorjeff]
10:47am via Twitter
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When the spacecraft came from behind the planet they’d look to see if they picked up the signal with the new on-board configuration. [doctorjeff]
10:47am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
While in Earth occulation the spacecraft was scheduled to fully reconfigure the transmitter and antenna. [doctorjeff]
10:46am via Twitter
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Mission controllers had a theory that a scheduled change at the time of the signal loss in the spacecraft’s antenna might have caused it. [doctorjeff]
10:44am via Twitter
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The signal was lost 4 min before close approach, and was not re-acquired before the blackout period started 12 minutes later. [doctorjeff]
10:38am via Twitter
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From 8 min to 59 min AFTER close approach, the vehicle was passing behind Mercury relative to Earth – a scheduled blackout period. [doctorjeff]
10:37am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
4 minutes before Mercury close approach the spacecraft’s carrier signal was lost. It was not supposed to happen. [doctorjeff]
10:34am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Ok, spacecraft update. Lots of good news, some bad news. [doctorjeff]
10:32am via Twitter
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RT @Room508AESchool MESSENGER is currently orbiting the Sun. Since Dec 2008 it went around SUN 1.5 times. Goes into Mercury orbit 2011. [doctorjeff]
10:31am via Twitter
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RT @Room508AESchool students want2 know how many times during schl day Messenger orbits Mercury – A: actually none, it flew by. [doctorjeff]
10:30am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
PLS RT! Teachers -u might want to project this URL: http://bit.ly/QlvA0
on screen. Includes my tweets on left & your replies on right. [doctorjeff]
10:28am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Ok, I’m here! Reply to this message if you are! [doctorjeff]
10:25am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @ThilinaH @doctorjeff @porchdragon @cosmicfrog thanks guys for the updates!! it was a good experience! cheers!! [doctorjeff]
9:09am via Twitter
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RT @AZChallenger Always a pleasure, you share some great information! [doctorjeff]
9:09am via Twitter
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I’ll B back on air tday BEFORE 12:00 PM EDT officially scheduled time. Will B on btwn 10&10:30 EDT PLS REPLY to this if u’ll b listening! [doctorjeff]
9:05am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
I will be on air BEFORE first officially scheduled live web 2.0 time on schedule. Will try to be on air by 10 am EDT. -Jeff [doctorjeff]
7:57am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
STAY TUNED FOR LIVE WEB 2.0 Coverage. See Blog schedule page via
http://blogontheuniverse.org [doctorjeff]
7:56am via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We learned last night the MESSENGER spacecraft is NOT operating in normal mode. Engineers are investigating. [doctorjeff]
7:55am via Twitter

September 29th

twitter (feed #2)

RT @foundonmars: Your MESSENGER coverage was awesome! I thank you very much! – You are very very welcome! [doctorjeff]
10:38pm via Twitter
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See you all tomorrow!! [doctorjeff]
7:34pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Ok I see it didin’t work in my tweet. How many watts? Put a decimal point down, 76 zeroes, then 14. [doctorjeff]
7:34pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
000000000000000000000000000000000014 Watts [doctorjeff]
7:33pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Rob just did a quick calculation. The signal strength received by a 35 meter diameter dish (DSN antenna) is this many watts… [doctorjeff]
7:33pm via Twitter
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Ok, everyone, nothing more to do tonight. The Fellows are packing up. [doctorjeff]
7:31pm via Twitter
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Ok let me keep tweets shorter for RT. Good point! [doctorjeff]
7:28pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
So the NASA Deep Space Network of ground station antennas is picking up an INCREDIBLY TINY SIGNAL-12 watts transmitted over70 million miles! [doctorjeff]
7:27pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The transmitter power is 12 WATTS. That’s the power of a 12 watt bulb, about the power required for 2 tail lights on your car. [doctorjeff]
7:25pm via Twitter
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It must have a pretty powerful transmitter to talk to us over 70 million miles away? [doctorjeff]
7:24pm via Twitter
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Mercury is 70 MILLION MILES AWAY. [doctorjeff]
7:23pm via Twitter
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Even at that amazing speed light (radio signals) from the spacecraft take 6.5 minutes to reach us. [doctorjeff]
7:22pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Light is 40,000 times faster than the space shuttle. It can travel around Earth 7.5 times in one second. [doctorjeff]
7:20pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The radio signals containing the data are moving at the speed of light – radio is a flavor or light. [doctorjeff]
7:19pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
pour over the data coming back to Earth. MESSENGER begins data transmission back to Earth at about 11:40 PM EDT tonight. [doctorjeff]
7:18pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
briefing on the preliminary results of the science investigations. I’ll try to capture the excitement of the scientists as they …. [doctorjeff]
7:18pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Remember that this is just the FIRST of MULTIPLE times when we’ll be covering the Flight of MESSENGER. Tomorrow and Thursday, we’ll be.. [doctorjeff]
7:17pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We will get a full condition report from the spacecraft at 9:34 PM EDT. [doctorjeff]
7:15pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The Narrow Angle Camera is now taking pictures of the planet. From MESSENGER, planet is seen mostly in daylight with a crescent of darkness. [doctorjeff]
7:12pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are now 1 hour 14 min past close approach, the spacecraft is now 9,500 miles from the surface. [doctorjeff]
7:09pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
It appears as if some minimal amount of data – radio science data – was lost. There’s no indication now that any other data is affected. [doctorjeff]
7:08pm via Twitter
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We now know there was a LOSS of signal frm spacecraft, before it went into scheduled blackout passing behind the planet relative to Earth. [doctorjeff]
7:05pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Update: we have reacquired signal from MESSENGER. [doctorjeff]
7:02pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Ok, am going to see if there is a sandwich left. [doctorjeff]
6:55pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Another critical point – we want to know that the science investigations and the data acquired on close approach are not affected. [doctorjeff]
6:54pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
One critical point – we want an indication that the spacecraft is fine. [doctorjeff]
6:54pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Update: ground controllers have one plausible scenario for the signal anomaly they saw. We should know in about 15 minutes. [doctorjeff]
6:51pm via Twitter
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RT @NASkies "Far out!" Congrats 2 Messenger team & thx 4 your updates. Larry Sessions, Denver – HI LARRY! [doctorjeff]
6:48pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
@ThilinaH hi Jeff, how many ground units are tracking MESSENGER? – 3 ground stations of the DSN: in Australia, Spain and California. [doctorjeff]
6:47pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are born to explore. It is truly in our genes. [doctorjeff]
6:45pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Standing on the shoulders of past generations, and empowered by teachers, this team is blazing a new trail. And the motivation? [doctorjeff]
6:45pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
The journey is written in our genes – the book of knowledge is not. [doctorjeff]
6:44pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Every step forward taken collectively by the human race is enabled by ordinary people like you and me. [doctorjeff]
6:43pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are trying to provide that sense of journey right now. [doctorjeff]
6:42pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Science is a journey. In a greater landscape, in every human endeavor, exploration is a JOURNEY. [doctorjeff]
6:41pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Another thought: science is not the fact reported on the evening news. [doctorjeff]
6:40pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Sim is not even on Blog. Sim: see visualization tool at APL Main site: http://bit.ly/pUWYR [doctorjeff]
6:39pm via Twitter
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RT @SUUZ42 @doctorjeff Do you have to register on your blog to see the simulation? – Absolutely not. No registration required for anything. [doctorjeff]
6:37pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
And MESSENGER has decided to keep us in the dark for another 25 minutes (pun intended.) [doctorjeff]
6:37pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
There is NO indication of anything seriously wrong at the current time. There has been an anomaly. That’s is what we know. [doctorjeff]
6:36pm via Twitter
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In my room, there are folks talking, casual conversations, MESSENGER Fellows busy broadcasting. [doctorjeff]
6:35pm via Twitter
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RT @froylance So what’s the mood in the MOC? -We’re waiting.There is palpable sense of nervousness in room. You don’t want to see anomalies. [doctorjeff]
6:34pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @ZEROGreenhouse Yes, there’s currently signal anomaly. Signal strength went down, it wasn’t supposed 2 happen, and we’re now in blackout. [doctorjeff]
6:31pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT queechies @doctorjeff Where does it go between now and Mar 2011? – It will continue to orbit Sun until its next&final rendezvous in 2011. [doctorjeff]
6:30pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
@ZEROGreenhouse Yes, there’s currently a signal anomaly. Signal strength went down, it wasn’t supposed to happen, and we’re now in blackout. [doctorjeff]
6:29pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @queechies How long will data be collected? – We’ll be searching 4 MOONS of Mercury thru this Friday. Then 21 days of long range imaging. [doctorjeff]
6:28pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We will now wait back here on Earth for signal re-acquisition by the Deep Space Network. [doctorjeff]
6:22pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
You’re living through a moment in human exploration. Remember it. [doctorjeff]
6:21pm via Twitter
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My thoughts: exploration is not about easy. It is not about flawless. Exploration is about pushing the envelope. [doctorjeff]
6:19pm via Twitter
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Now’s a good time for questions from you all. [doctorjeff]
6:18pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Signal acquisition on Earth scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT. [doctorjeff]
6:17pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are now 44 minutes from signal acquisition on Earth. That includes the 6.5 minute light travel time for signal from Mercury to Earth. [doctorjeff]
6:17pm via Twitter
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Mission controllers will be waiting to see if they see the new configuration on signal acquisition. [doctorjeff]
6:16pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
As MESSENGER comes out of blackout it’s transmitters and antennas should be in a whole new configuration as preprogrammed. [doctorjeff]
6:15pm via Twitter
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Mission controllers had decided NOT to take any action before blackout. [doctorjeff]
6:14pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Twitter went off line for me at same time. Sorry We are now in blackout for 51 minutes. [doctorjeff]
6:13pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
MESSENGER Laser Altimeter data acquisition in progress. Halfway through its operation period. [doctorjeff]
6:05pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Mission controllers are troubleshooting signal drop. Could be ground station issue. [doctorjeff]
6:04pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are heading for signal blackout in minutes as vehicle goes behind planet relative to Earth. [doctorjeff]
6:03pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Our room has gotten very quiet. Mission controllers are looking intensly at their computer monitors. [doctorjeff]
6:02pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We have an unexpected signal drop from spacecraft. Standby. We are not scheduled currently for signal blackout. [doctorjeff]
6:00pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
RT @queechies @doctorjeff is that good or bad? – good. MESSENGER at close approach no longer heading toward planet & begins heading away [doctorjeff]
6:00pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
At 6:04 EDT MESSENGER passes behind planet relative to Earth and we loose signal. It will be in "Earth Occultation" for 51 minutes. [doctorjeff]
5:58pm via Twitter
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Still in darkness. [doctorjeff]
5:56pm via Twitter
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@ScienceDome Yup. Anybody else have the right answer? I’d hope so too ScienceDome!! [doctorjeff]
5:56pm via Twitter
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RT ScienceDome @doctorjeff I would hope at closest approach, Messenger wouldn’t be traveling toward Mercury’s surface at any speed… [doctorjeff]
5:55pm via Twitter
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(cheer now) [doctorjeff]
5:55pm via Twitter
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WE HAVE JUST PASSED THROUGH CLOSE APPROACH. [doctorjeff]
5:55pm via Twitter
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1 MINUTE FROM CLOSE APPROACH [doctorjeff]
5:54pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Laser Altimeter operational after MESSENGER passes out of darkness. [doctorjeff]
5:53pm via Twitter
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Laser Altimeter will be operational next. [doctorjeff]
5:52pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Spacecraft is now reorienting its payload for observations. [doctorjeff]
5:52pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
You ready to cheer out there? Want to hear you in Columbia Maryland at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. [doctorjeff]
5:51pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
CLOSE APPROACH IN 4 MINUTES. [doctorjeff]
5:51pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Now we’re 320 miles above surface. That’s just one way to mom in NY. [doctorjeff]
5:50pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
"Ah, I don’t need my sunshade right now. " [doctorjeff]
5:49pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Remember it doesn’t get to pass so close to a planet very often where the planet shades it from the Sun. [doctorjeff]
5:49pm via Twitter
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The spacecraft is now in darkness. Must be either traumatic or a joyous event for the little fella. [doctorjeff]
5:48pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
We are now just 700 miles above the surface. That’s the round trip distance to mom in NY from my home in DC. [doctorjeff]
5:46pm via Twitter
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BY JUST 2.3 KM – about 1.5 MILES!! [doctorjeff]
5:44pm via Twitter
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The location in space for close approach was set 3 months ago. Since then it’s traveled over 180 million miles. We missed the close approach [doctorjeff]
5:44pm via Twitter
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Since last thruster burn on Dec 8, 2008, MESSENGER has traveled 1.5 times around the Sun = 662 million miles or 1.1 billion km. [doctorjeff]
5:39pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Everyone is happy, the mission team is not working – they’re enjoying, the Fellows are working! [doctorjeff]
5:38pm via Twitter
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The room is now full – standing room only. Sean Solomon is helping Fellow Gene Gordon figure out how far Mercury is from Earth rt now. [doctorjeff]
5:37pm via Twitter
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This is REALLY exciting. [doctorjeff]
5:36pm via Twitter
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We are now less than 20 minutes from close approach. [doctorjeff]
5:36pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER will be moving into darkness in a few minutes, as it passes behind Mercury relative to the Sun. [doctorjeff]
5:35pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #2)
Theme from Jeopardy playing in background. [doctorjeff]
5:33pm via Twitter
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QUESTION FOR YOU ALL – I WANT TO SEE ANSWERS. At point of close approach how fast will spacecraft be moving toward Mercury’s surface. [doctorjeff]
5:32pm via Twitter
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We are now 2,700 mi from Mercurian surface. That’s continental US length. Stand US up & spacecraft would be in Maine and surface in CA. [doctorjeff]
5:32pm via Twitter
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Fact: at close approach, MESSENGER will b traveling relative to Earth at 30 miles per sec. That’s crossing continental US in 1 min 20 sec. [doctorjeff]
5:27pm via Twitter
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I can tell the vehicle is on beacon mode. The mission controllers are eating and talking. [doctorjeff]
5:25pm via Twitter
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Next generation now at the helm in Mission Control. [doctorjeff]
5:21pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER is now on route to the 6th flyby of Mercury by human race. 3 by Mariner 10 in 74/75; and two prior by MESSENGER. [doctorjeff]
5:21pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER now 4,300 miles above surface, that’s just half Earth’s diameter above the surface. [doctorjeff]
5:19pm via Twitter
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We’re half way thru current MASCS data acquisition period. [doctorjeff]
5:18pm via Twitter
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Correction, had a wrong image. We loose beacon signal 7 minutes after close approach as vehicle goes behind Mercury as seen from Earth. [doctorjeff]
5:15pm via Twitter
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A baseline signal coming from the vehicle letting us know all is fine. [doctorjeff]
5:13pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER will be passing behind Mercury as seen from Earth, prior to close approach. It is now on beacon mode. [doctorjeff]
5:12pm via Twitter
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We are now 5,900 miles above the surface and closing. [doctorjeff]
5:07pm via Twitter
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From MESSENGER, at the current time, Mercury appears 96 full Moons across. [doctorjeff]
5:07pm via Twitter
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The MESSENGER Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) is now taking data. [doctorjeff]
5:01pm via Twitter
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Anybody want to be aboard the spacecraft? It has a nice sunshade? [doctorjeff]
4:59pm via Twitter
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WE ARE NOW LESS THAN AN EARTH DIAMETER ABOVE THE SURFACE OF MERCURY, screaming toward it at 2 miles per SECOND. You getting this? [doctorjeff]
4:59pm via Twitter
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We’re 7,400 miles above the Mercurian surface, heading to an altitude of 142 miles (228 km) at close approach. [doctorjeff]
4:57pm via Twitter
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Ok, we are now an hour out. Let me situate everyone. MESSENGER is moving at about 3 km/sec (2 miles per sec) relative to Mercury. [doctorjeff]
4:56pm via Twitter
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OK, here’s what it was like when I saw Apollo11 astronauts Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon when I was 11. http://bit.ly/17GqI7 [doctorjeff]
4:45pm via Twitter
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No planet in our Solar System besides Earth has an environment anywhere close to survivable. Not even Mars. [doctorjeff]
4:42pm via Twitter
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To Lynsay Weber’s 4th grade class. Q: you think we some day can live on other planets. But it would require an enclosed environment. [doctorjeff]
4:41pm via Twitter
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@AstroPhoenician Thanks for letting me know you guy are out there by email. -dj [doctorjeff]
4:39pm via Twitter
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Anybody want the URL to the story? [doctorjeff]
4:38pm via Twitter
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RT Janshs @doctorjeff haha was talking to 11 yr olds today about 1969 – any you probably know I was 11 in 69. Wrote it up on blog. [doctorjeff]
4:38pm via Twitter
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We’re still plugging in all the equipment. [doctorjeff]
4:36pm via Twitter
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a next generation of scientists and engineers. [doctorjeff]
4:35pm via Twitter
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You know, many of the problems the world faces at the dawn of the 21st century will require new technologies to solve. Will require …. [doctorjeff]
4:34pm via Twitter
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Anybody out there for taking up the challenge? Any future scientists and engineers listening in? [doctorjeff]
4:31pm via Twitter
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I guess the best way to describe it … I’m seeing firsthand the legacy of human exploration … every generation taking up the challenge. [doctorjeff]
4:30pm via Twitter
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…their 20s and 30s. Many were not even BORN when the only other spacecraft to Mercury – MARINER 10 – flew by in 1974-75. [doctorjeff]
4:29pm via Twitter
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Projected on the screen is the Mission Operations Center with folks sitting at computer stations. The mission controllers appear to be in .. [doctorjeff]
4:28pm via Twitter
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Ok, let me know you guys and gals are out there again in Twitter Town. [doctorjeff]
4:21pm via Twitter
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Ok, I’m back. We drove over 2 the Mission Operations Center. All us Voices of Mission Control are now setting up around a conference table. [doctorjeff]
4:21pm via Twitter
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@sanmccarron Here is one way. Let’s all promote what we are doing RIGHT NOW WITH MESSENGER to these admins. [doctorjeff]
3:56pm via Twitter
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RT sanmccarron @doctorjeff How u plan to get US schools into 21st century when teachers are at whim of non-ed admin 4 technology & access? [doctorjeff]
3:55pm via Twitter
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Rob just finished briefing. [doctorjeff]
3:54pm via Twitter
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@Sunset_Twilight @doctorjeff So jealous! Tryin hard to let you be here!! [doctorjeff]
3:53pm via Twitter
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There is a flyby 3 animation at the APL website that YOU can see. It provides a VERY COOL animation of what the spacecraft is to do. [doctorjeff]
3:53pm via Twitter
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With today’s flyby, the human race will have seen a little more than 90% of the planet with high quality imaging. [doctorjeff]
3:52pm via Twitter
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By the way – we’re now at T-minus 2 hours 5 min from Mercury. Earth will start receiving data via the NASA Deep Space Network later today. [doctorjeff]
3:51pm via Twitter
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Why? Because we’re on a journey written in our genes. There’s something to think about in class. What does Dr. Jeff mean by that. [doctorjeff]
3:48pm via Twitter
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of different cultures. Pulling together as a team to get a spaceship to another world. [doctorjeff]
3:47pm via Twitter
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I’m looking around the room and see lots of young people. Folks in their 20s and 30s. These are the faces of explorers. Women, men, …. [doctorjeff]
3:47pm via Twitter
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Just as an aside THIS IS A NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION INITIATIVE POWERED BY SOCIAL NETWORKS. America let’s get education into 21st Century. [doctorjeff]
3:45pm via Twitter
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At center of Caloris, there is a spider-like feature whose geologic origin remains unknown. [doctorjeff]
3:42pm via Twitter
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Have you ever drove across TEXAS? [doctorjeff]
3:41pm via Twitter
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Now he’s showing a photo from MESSENGER prior flyby of Caloris Basin – a HUGE impact feature about the size of Texas. [doctorjeff]
3:41pm via Twitter
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we can take some photos on the sunlit side. [doctorjeff]
3:40pm via Twitter
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Now Rob has a graphic of the path of MESSENGER near Mercury. Were coming in on the nite side. As we pass the terminator into the sunlit side [doctorjeff]
3:38pm via Twitter
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I HAVE A VERY COOL STORY about an experience at Kennedy. Remind me to tell you all about it! [doctorjeff]
3:37pm via Twitter
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Rob is now showing a video of the MESSENGER launch at Kennedy Space Center in 2004. I was THERE with the MESSENGER Fellows. [doctorjeff]
3:36pm via Twitter
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The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) contains the wide and narrow field cameras. [doctorjeff]
3:36pm via Twitter
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The ALTIMETER measures the height of the different features on the surface. [doctorjeff]
3:35pm via Twitter
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The MAGNETOMETER (say that too) allows us to measure the strength of the magnetic field. [doctorjeff]
3:34pm via Twitter
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the surface. The flavors of light seen tell us a great deal about the COMPOSITION of the surface. [doctorjeff]
3:34pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER has a lots of instruments – ‘spectrometers’ (can u say spectrometers?) These look at the different flavors of light coming from .. [doctorjeff]
3:32pm via Twitter
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@Sunset_Twilight YOU IS THERE!!!!!!!!!! Yes! I was feeling like the MESSENGER spacecraft not sure if NASA Deep Space Network is on! [doctorjeff]
3:31pm via Twitter
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Spacecraft weighs 1,100 kg (2,500 lbs). Say about the weight of a car! [doctorjeff]
3:28pm via Twitter
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crispy critter spacecraft. (BAD.) [doctorjeff]
3:27pm via Twitter
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CLEVER engineers came up with a sunshade for the spacecraft – made of ceramic fabric! The spacecraft MUST stay behind the shade always or . [doctorjeff]
3:26pm via Twitter
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Back to briefing – Mercury receives more than 10 times the energy in sunlight per square foot than here on Earth. [doctorjeff]
3:25pm via Twitter
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Sorry about typos! [doctorjeff]
3:25pm via Twitter
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I nkow i’m tweeting early. Didn’t know I’d be able to sit in back of briefing and give you a play by play. THIS IS VERY COOL. [doctorjeff]
3:24pm via Twitter
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Hey, someone let me know you b out there? Have not heard anything from the Twittersphere. Are you kids getting these tweets?? [doctorjeff]
3:24pm via Twitter
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to go into orbit around Mercury in 2011. [doctorjeff]
3:22pm via Twitter
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Each flyby was sort of a gravitational de-assist, slowing down the spacecraft a bit. After these 6 encounters, it is slow enough … [doctorjeff]
3:22pm via Twitter
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and to go into orbit. So like a cosmic billiard game, MESSENGER did a close flyby of Earth, 2 at Venus, and now the 3rd of 3 at Mercury. [doctorjeff]
3:21pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER launched from Earth is also moving at 20 miles per second. It NEEDS TO SLOW DOWN to FALL into the inner Solar System …. [doctorjeff]
3:20pm via Twitter
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Poof. You’re now about 100 miles from where you were on my last Tweet. [doctorjeff]
3:19pm via Twitter
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Why is MESSENGER so interesting as a mission to another planet? Right now, sitting on Earth YOU ARE MOVING 20 MILES PER SECOND!! [doctorjeff]
3:19pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER was 7th NASA Discovery Mission. Sean Solomon at Carnegie Institution of Washington is Principal Investigator (leads team.) [doctorjeff]
3:18pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER is a NASA Discovery Mission – a team thinks out a whole mission and presents to NASA as a proposed mission. NASA selects. [doctorjeff]
3:17pm via Twitter
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Many MESSENGER ENGINEERS were KIDS when Mariner 10 flew by the planet. What do you need? DREAM. [doctorjeff]
3:14pm via Twitter
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Getting a spacecraft from Earth to slow down enough 2 enter orbit around Merc was not simple. CLEVER ENGINEERS figured it out-now MESSENGER! [doctorjeff]
3:14pm via Twitter
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Mariner 10 in 74 and 75 did 3 flybys, only saw half the planet. After Mariner 10, folks said next step – ORBITAL MISSION – took 30 years! [doctorjeff]
3:13pm via Twitter
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Really hard to study Mercury, it’s always close to the Sun when viewed from Earth. [doctorjeff]
3:11pm via Twitter
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One big surprise – Mercury has a magnetic field. But core should be solid not liquid – a small planet. WHY?? Cool question. [doctorjeff]
3:11pm via Twitter
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Mercury is densest planet, with extreme temp variation from day to nite- no atmosphere, and sunrise to sunrise = 176 earth days – its day. [doctorjeff]
3:10pm via Twitter
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Cool history from Rob: will pass it on…. [doctorjeff]
3:08pm via Twitter
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Rob Gold, MESSENGER payload manager is starting the briefing. [doctorjeff]
3:07pm via Twitter
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I’m now at pre-flyby briefing. We’re in large conf rm with ENTIRE MESSENGER TEAm-scientists, engineers, support staff. [doctorjeff]
3:07pm via Twitter
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Pretty exciting! T-minus 3 h 25 min to Mercury. [doctorjeff]
2:29pm via Twitter
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Remember, directions to be part of the adventure are on the page: http://bit.ly/4Ms65 [doctorjeff]
2:29pm via Twitter
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@fantastictools @xelavee @mrsv_students Thanks for spreading the word to your PLNs. -dj [doctorjeff]
2:27pm via Twitter
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Hi all-
We are now at APL (JHU’s Applied Physics Lab) setting up, and we’ll be leaving in about 15 min for our 1-hour pre-flyby debrief. [doctorjeff]
2:26pm via Twitter
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@philipcooke Venus-atmosphere about 100x thicker than Earth’s, temp OVER 900 deg F, possible concen sulfuric acid rain – SO PROTECT EARTH. [doctorjeff]
12:41pm via Twitter
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@philipcooke Merc. – no atmosphere to speak of, extreme day/nite temps. Terrible place to visit. [doctorjeff]
12:40pm via Twitter
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@philipcooke Class Q: can ppl live on Merc or Venus? A: both extreme environments-cannot support life. [doctorjeff]
12:40pm via Twitter
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NEW Important Notes on Live Coverage: top of page: http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edchat #edtech #homeshool #homeschooling #media #space [doctorjeff]
11:34am via Twitter
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@danwhnt D- Thanks for the blog post! You’ve been a great friend on this! Jeff [doctorjeff]
11:13am via Twitter
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@philipcooke Class Q: is surface solid? Texture? What protects MESSENGER? A: Hi! Yup solid, and very similar to Moon. MESS has a sunshade! [doctorjeff]
11:13am via Twitter
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MESSENGER UPDATE: RT2 TCHERS- 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready 4 flyby: See Section 3.1 http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edtech #space [doctorjeff]
9:02am via Twitter
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MESSENGER reminder-directions 4 how 2 participate- even if you have Twitter&Facebook blocked, can B found at http://bit.ly/4Ms65 #edtech [doctorjeff]
7:53am via Twitter

September 28th

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@ScienceNetLinks Hey Suzanne, thanks for adding the link! -Jeff [doctorjeff]
9:06pm via Twitter
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9:05pm via Twitter
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@muffin2208 @twHIVE_W20 Q: where do u go for the live reporting? A: There’s a great page with directions here: http://bit.ly/4Ms65 [doctorjeff]
8:48pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Update: A reminder – directions 4 how 2 participate- even if you have Twitter&Facebook blocked, can B found at http://bit.ly/4Ms65 [doctorjeff]
8:44pm via Twitter
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RT @lucy_mccartney hello Dr Jeff… how are you? I’m from Mexico CIty, and I think this project about Mercury it’s incredible! [doctorjeff]
8:28pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Flyby Update: WITNESS HISTORY- U can C MERCURY before sunrise NOW: http://bit.ly/i6zlM RT 2 Tchers. #edtech #education #homeschool [doctorjeff]
8:18pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER UPDATE: RT2 TCHERS- 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready 4 flyby: See Section 3.1 http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edtech #space [doctorjeff]
8:17pm via Twitter
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@danwhnt Dan, thanks so much for all your help today getting word out. Jeff [doctorjeff]
8:15pm via Twitter
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@muffin2208 Q: Y go 2 Merc again if Mariner 10 flew by in 70s. A: Mariner only saw 1/2! planet on fast flybys. MESS will ORBIT Merc in 2011! [doctorjeff]
8:13pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Flyby Update: WITNESS HISTORY- U can C MERCURY before sunrise NOW: http://bit.ly/i6zlM RT 2 Tchers. #nasa #space #media #edtech [doctorjeff]
5:44pm via Twitter
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@AZChallenger Thanks for RT!! You guys are great! -Jeff [doctorjeff]
5:16pm via Twitter
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@prepa5 Q: MESSENGER just photos or composition 2? A: Not just photos. Check this out! http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/instruments/index.html [doctorjeff]
5:09pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER UPDATE: RT2 TCHERS- 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready 4 flyby: See Section 3.1 http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #nasa #astronomy #edchat [doctorjeff]
4:30pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER UPDATE: RT2 TCHERS- 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready 4 flyby: See Section 3.1 http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edtech #space [doctorjeff]
3:39pm via Twitter
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URL correction: MESSENGER flyby: RT2 TCHERS Here’s 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready: See Section 3.1 http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education [doctorjeff]
1:38pm via Twitter
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@porchdragon Just tried link for student prep for MESSENGER: http:/bit.ly/3x5Nfg and it worked. Not working for u? [doctorjeff]
1:31pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Flyby Update: WITNESS HISTORY- U can C MERCURY Before Sunrise NOW: http://bit.ly/i6zlM RT 2 Tchers. #nasa #space #media #scifi [doctorjeff]
1:28pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Flyby Update: WITNESS HISTORY- U can C MERCURY Before Sunrise NOW: http://bit.ly/i6zlM RT 2 Tchers. #education #edchat #edtech [doctorjeff]
1:27pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER flyby: RT2 TCHERS Here’s 3 websites 2 easily get a class ready: See Section 3.1 http:/bit.ly/3x5Nfg #nasa #space #science #media [doctorjeff]
12:27pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER flyby: RT2 TCHERS Here’s 3 websites 2 easily get your class ready: See Section 3.1 http:/bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edtech #edchat [doctorjeff]
12:26pm via Twitter
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@ScienceNetLinks Hey Bob, thanks for RT! Did you see all the links to the WONDERFUL SNL website? bit.ly/3x5Nfg [doctorjeff]
12:25pm via Twitter
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MESSENGER Flyby: TCHRS homework 4 your kids: have them go thru resources at home w parents! http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg #edtech #edchat #education [doctorjeff]
9:46am via Twitter
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@arizonamartian2@doctorjeff Thanks Dr.Jeff-My 5th grade class in Arizona will be watching. THAT IS SO COOL!! -jeff [doctorjeff]
9:42am via Twitter
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@mbteach Thanks for helping get word out to teachers! [doctorjeff]
9:41am via Twitter
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@good_education Thanks for all your help on this!! Jeff [doctorjeff]
9:41am via Twitter
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MESSENGER flyby: RT2 TCHERS Here’s 3 websites 2 easily get your class ready: See Section 3.1 http:/bit.ly/3x5Nfg #media #nasa #homeschool [doctorjeff]
9:40am via Twitter
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MESSENGER flyby: RT2 TCHERS Here’s 3 websites 2 easily get your class ready: See Section 3.1 http:/bit.ly/3x5Nfg #education #edtech #edchat [doctorjeff]
9:39am via Twitter
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Mercury flyby by MESSENGER Sept 29: LIVE WEB 2.0 COVERAGE. U Can PARTICIPATE. RT http://bit.ly/3kDn7b #media #nasa #education #space #APOD [doctorjeff]
9:19am via Twitter
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NEW CONTENT added lastnite 2 MESSENGER Special Post. Getting students up to speed before flyby. See text in RED at: http://bit.ly/3x5Nfg [doctorjeff]
7:01am via Twitter
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