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Happy Winter Solstice

Mercury transits Sol

Yo! It seems like we just passed the Summer Solstice. Now, the northern hemisphere will be able to gain some reprieve from the darkness. Starting today, daylight time will continue to increase until we reach the maximum in June 2010. No more 5 PM darkness! Wahoo!

For this winter’s solstice, I bring you an image of Mercury as it transits the Sol. This is a very rare and magnificent image. Many of the scifi books that I have read feature humans living in colonies on Mercury. One of the most innovative (Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson) had a city on rails that traveled around the planet staying just ahead of the direct sunlight. My question: and why would we want to do this?