The shadow cast by this planet is a very long, thin, one bringing up the question “what shadow?” by most people, relying on their mass media sources like radio, TV, and the Internet to clue them in that this event was actually happening.
Just a few days ago, Monday, 2016 May 09, the planet Mercury lined up in a straight line between our sun and our planet Earth casting its shadow on our planet however, few noticed it.
Few knew of or noticed it except scientists involved with astrophysics is because Mercury is small and not some massive planet that would create some sort of eclipse of the sun.
This astral phenomenon is called a “transition” instead of an eclipse apparently each century there are about thirteen transits of Mercury.
Mercury is our smallest planet, with an equatorial radius of 2,439.7 KM or 1,516.0 miles, and is closest to our sun, which it orbits in an elliptical orbit every 88 Earth days making it the fastest of our group of planets. Its elliptical orbit places it very close to the sun the nearest distance a mere 28 and the furthest about 43 million miles (46 and 70 million kilometers).
This proximity makes the average Day side surface temperature, 332 degrees Fahrenheit (167 degrees Celsius) and with a maximum temperature of 801 F(427 degrees C) this drops on the night side to a brutally freezing minus 279 F (minus 173 C).
Mercury is despite its size unique having a 59-day long rotation and a significant magnetic field about 1.1% of our Earth’s. Its magnetic field is dipolar and its poles are almost totally aligned with the planet’s spin axis and based on both the US Mariner 10 and Messenger space probes’ special instrument packages measurements. They indicated that the strength and shape of this magnetic field is stable and is even powerful enough to deflect our sun’s solar wind creating a sort of magnetosphere around itself.
Mercury is a hot globe composed of primarily two main substances, silicates and iron suggesting according to one theory that it is the result of a collision between it and something like a comet or large asteroid.
My drawn picture of Mercury in its transit in front of and across the surface of the sun, may be considered a sort of closeup of what the real thing looks like because images I have seen depict Mercury as a tiny fuzzy black dot almost invisible.
This my contribution for WP single word prompt challenge:”SHADOW”