The planet Mercury, as seen by the MESSENGER mission. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)
› Link: Mercury Facts
› Link: NASA's MESSENGER Mission
› Galleries: MESSENGER | Flickr
› Video: Sleepy Hollows of Mercury While it may not be "entering like a lamb," March is ushering in some excellent times to see planets in our solar system - starting with Mercury. Normally overshadowed by the sun, Mercury is currently at its greatest elongation from the sun's glare. Just after sunset on Mar. 5 will be the best chance of the year to see Mercury through a telescope, but to the unaided eye it will appear as only a tiny dot in the sky.
On Monday, Mar. 5, NASA planetary scientist Renee Weber answered your questions about Mercury via live Web chat. The chat featured a color Ustream view of Mercury, Venus, mars, Jupiter and the moon from a telescope located at the Marshall Center in Huntsville, Ala.
› Chat Transcript (PDF, 275 Kb)
If you liked this chat, join us on Mar. 25 for the second "Tour of the Planets" live Web chat - the bright Venus-Jupiter conjunction.
About Chat Expert Dr. Renee Weber
Dr. Renee Weber is a planetary scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. She serves as the project scientist for the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project, a software project designed to provide lunar maps and surface feature information to mission planners and other lunar researchers. Renee's scientific research focuses on planetary seismology, in particular the re-processing of seismic data from the Apollo missions. She is involved in several international efforts with goals of sending modern, broad-band seismometers to both the moon and Mars.