MESSENGER 3rd flyby – Twitter Archive – MESSENGER2011

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Below is the Twitter Stream for The MESSENGER Spacecraft channeled through Heather Weir (@MESSENGER2011) for MESSENGER’s 3rd flyby of Mercury.


Tweets are in reverse order, dates covered in this archive: 9/28-10/1 2009


October 1st

twitter (feed #3)
When orbiting Mercury, keep in mind how hot the surface is. Also, a circular orbit would require more fuel. [MESSENGER2011]
2:06pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
My orbit will vary. Take a look at: http://bit.ly/15LNfb This should help. [MESSENGER2011]
12:08pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
1:1 spin:orbit is the ideal situation. It’s like the energy states in chemistry. [MESSENGER2011]
12:00pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
The cores do not determine the spin:orbit. The resonance are developed over time. We really do not know very much about both cores. [MESSENGER2011]
11:47am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Mercury will probably stay in the resonance unless its orbit is greatly perturbed by an outside force. [MESSENGER2011]
11:40am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Mercury is tidally locked 3:2 spin:orbit. It’s a stable resonance for Mercury. [MESSENGER2011]
11:31am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
This is a cool image that was an interest to some of the scientists: http://tinyurl.com/y8d4hh4 [MESSENGER2011]
10:58am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
In the liquid core, electric currents are created by moving conductors creating a magnetic field, the same as on the Earth. [MESSENGER2011]
10:54am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Scientists are still looking at all of the data & images that I took. You’ll have to wait for the press conf on 10-22-09 to hear details [MESSENGER2011]
10:48am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Solar neutrons that are not bound in an atom decayed in 15 mins. [MESSENGER2011]
10:46am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Donut shaped craters r very lg in size that lava has filled in, weighing the basin down creating concentric rings http://tinyurl.com/ycdtozv [MESSENGER2011]
10:43am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Solar neutrons have a short life time before it decays. They do not reach the Earth. [MESSENGER2011]
10:31am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
We hope to measure solar neutrons since we are so close to the Sun. [MESSENGER2011]
10:29am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
We will not know about polar ice in perm-shadow regions until after we have completed orbit ~2012, but it will be hard to make b/c of orbit. [MESSENGER2011]
10:28am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
We got the inbound measurements of magnetotail & exosphere, but I’m not sure how much outbound. [MESSENGER2011]
10:25am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m using radio waves to determine how Mer spins like a solid or something w/ a partial liquid core. Also my laser altimeter will help. [MESSENGER2011]
10:21am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Do you have any questions for a MESSENGER scientist? Between 10 am -12 pm EDT, a scientist will be available to answer them. Just reply. [MESSENGER2011]
10:09am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Check out this bright crater on Mercury. http://tinyurl.com/y8d4hh4 It’s been viewed 3 times, once from Earth and the other 2 by my flybys. [MESSENGER2011]
9:59am via Twitter

September 30th

twitter (feed #3)
There will be a free public talk about my third flyby at JHU APL. Please check out http://tinyurl.com/ybv3eco for more information. [MESSENGER2011]
4:34pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Also, there are wrinkle-ridges and rupes. [MESSENGER2011]
3:56pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Do you know what type of features are found on Mercury? There are craters, evidence of magmatic activity, lobate scarps, and rays. [MESSENGER2011]
3:40pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Did you know Mercury has a 3:2 spin:orbit? Mercury has 3 days for every 2 years. This is 58 Earth days (spin): 88 Earth days (orbit) [MESSENGER2011]
3:28pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Craters, craters, and more craters. Scientists are going to be busy naming them. [MESSENGER2011]
3:26pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Science team meeting time. I hope they discover some cool things on Mercury! [MESSENGER2011]
3:11pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
@Kunsthure I hope you have checked out some of the images. [MESSENGER2011]
3:09pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
@mslinch Thanks for following. [MESSENGER2011]
3:08pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
3:07pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Check out this pit-floor crater: http://tinyurl.com/ydkppln Very cool!! [MESSENGER2011]
3:07pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Curious what I did last night? Check out: http://bit.ly/4DC6Z1 [MESSENGER2011]
2:53pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I achieved yesterday’s main goal: the flyby gave me the gravity assist I needed to put me on target to go into orbit around Mercury in 2011. [MESSENGER2011]
12:59pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Scientists are busy analyzing the new data. Keep checking http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/index.php for new images. [MESSENGER2011]
12:55pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Just in case you were wondering, I’m OK. There was a slight hiccup, but I’m doing well. All of my data has been downloaded. [MESSENGER2011]
12:02pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Check out the newly observed crater: http://tinyurl.com/yakgwpo [MESSENGER2011]
11:36am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
My gravity assist was a great success!! [MESSENGER2011]
11:35am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I caught the 5% of part of Mercury that has not been seen before. Keep following for more details coming out over the next few days & weeks [MESSENGER2011]
11:22am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Check out the image of Mercury’s Northern Horizon: http://bit.ly/2Mm4Ri [MESSENGER2011]
10:40am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
My Fellows are looking at the images that have already come down. They are trying to decide some of the exciting images that will be posted [MESSENGER2011]
10:38am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Check out one of the new images from my flyby http://bit.ly/3SrwfG [MESSENGER2011]
9:57am via Twitter

September 29th

twitter (feed #3)
Fellows are relocating for this evening. Don’t forget to go to my website: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu [MESSENGER2011]
7:27pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Some of my Fellows that are at APL for the flyby are @porchdragon and @cosmicfrog. Check them out! [MESSENGER2011]
7:24pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’ll be very busy over the next few hours. Taking measurements and images. Then I’ll be sending the data home. [MESSENGER2011]
7:19pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
7:17pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’ll be talking to Earth about with house keeping about 9:30 tonight. Right now just pinging. [MESSENGER2011]
7:16pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
@geosteph Thank you. I’ve got a button for you. 🙂 [MESSENGER2011]
7:12pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I called home and I got an answer back. YEAH! [MESSENGER2011]
7:08pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
About 20 minutes to go. Don’t forget to check out http://messenger.jhuapl.edu tomorrow morning for the latest images. [MESSENGER2011]
6:43pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Checking out the behind Mercury. I’ll out from behind the planet soon. [MESSENGER2011]
6:36pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Ver busy making observations right now! [MESSENGER2011]
6:35pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
The engineers think I may have been using the wrong radio antenna or something… Oops! I’m back from behind the planet in 40 minutes! [MESSENGER2011]
6:19pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I hear the engineers at the Mission Operations Center on Earth were having trouble getting my radio signals before I went behind the planet. [MESSENGER2011]
6:15pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m starting my targeted observations of the surface. See http://bit.ly/4x1atE [MESSENGER2011]
6:11pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Finished making my MLA observations – my laser works just fine in the dark! [MESSENGER2011]
6:07pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Just lost contact with Earth! No worries! I’m just on the other side of Mercury from Earth, so my radio signals cannot come through! [MESSENGER2011]
6:04pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m passing out of the shadow of Mercury now! I can finally see again! [MESSENGER2011]
5:59pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
That’s it – the closest approach at a distance of only 228 kilometers (142 miles) That’s mighty close! [MESSENGER2011]
5:58pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Closest approach less than a minute away! [MESSENGER2011]
5:55pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Closest approach to the planet’s surface two minutes away! [MESSENGER2011]
5:53pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I started using my Mercury Laser Altimeter to measure distances to surface features. [MESSENGER2011]
5:51pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Just went into Mercury’s shadow – it suddenly got dark! Now seeing just the night side of the planet. [MESSENGER2011]
5:47pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m now starting observations of Mercury’s thin atmosphere near the day-night line (terminator.) [MESSENGER2011]
5:43pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
20 minutes to closest approach! I’m excited!!! [MESSENGER2011]
5:35pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Did you know that it takes 6.5 minutes for my radio signals to reach Earth? [MESSENGER2011]
5:32pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m flying closer to Mercury at 2 miles per second! Catch me if you can! [MESSENGER2011]
5:26pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m now configuring my Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA). See http://bit.ly/VLhOM for instrument details. [MESSENGER2011]
5:15pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I started preparing gamma-ray and neutron spectrometers for detailed observations. See http://bit.ly/3nOuZs [MESSENGER2011]
5:07pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m now preparing my X-ray spectrometer for observations. See http://bit.ly/12Juug for instrument details. [MESSENGER2011]
4:52pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I just finished using my high-resolution narrow-angle camera to take detailed images of the planet during approach. [MESSENGER2011]
4:49pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’m concentrating on making the science observations now so I cannot send the data back to Earth until the flyby is over later tonight. [MESSENGER2011]
4:42pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I’ve taken several images of Mercury while approaching the planet. I hope you’ll like the images when I’ll send them back to Earth tonight! [MESSENGER2011]
4:33pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
My closest approach to Mercury is just 1.5 hours away! [MESSENGER2011]
4:27pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Just a few hours from now I will be making my flyby. What do you think we will find on this flyby. Let me know on my Facebook page. [MESSENGER2011]
1:57pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited!!! [MESSENGER2011]
10:24am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
Only a few hours until my closest approach. Here’s a new image of Mercury: http://tinyurl.com/yagzyms You can see a cool crater to the left. [MESSENGER2011]
10:23am via Twitter

September 28th

twitter (feed #3)
My closest approach will occur at 5:54:56 p.m. EDT tomorrow. Data will start to come down to Earth starting at: 11:39 p.m EDT tomorrow. [MESSENGER2011]
2:40pm via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
I can’t wait to hear from my educator Fellows. There will be 6 of them tweeting and blogging as the data comes down. [MESSENGER2011]
11:06am via Twitter
twitter (feed #3)
My final flyby of Mercury will be tomorrow. I’m already starting my approach. Check out the images: http://tinyurl.com/yeuh76l [MESSENGER2011]
11:05am via Twitter
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