Monday, August 11, 2008

Size Comparison

I love seeing the actual sizes of planets and moons in our solar system compared side-by-side to each other. Maybe that's just one of those really nerdy things about myself, nonetheless, it is there.

So, here is a cool image that shows the size comparisons of Mars, Ganymede, Mercury, and The Moon. Now, in case you are wondering (and I know you are), "What is Ganymede?" Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system and it orbits Jupiter. Everything is bigger at Jupiter. Ganymede is actually bigger than the planet Mercury and almost as big as Mars! And if you also happened to be wondering, the only other moon larger than Mercury is Saturn's moon Titan.

Mars' diameter is 4222 miles
Ganymede's diameter is 3270 miles
Mercury's diameter is 3033 miles
The Moon's diameter is 2160 miles

Now, the official name of The Moon really is The Moon. Weird right? I mean all the other moons in the solar system have names like Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Ariel, etc. But our moon is just called The Moon. Wow...really? So that leaves us with no other option than to refer to ancient mythologies for names for the Moon. The Romans called it Luna and the Greeks called it Selene.

Since there's so much talk about the Moon, here's an image to the right of the side you never get to see *yawn* Yeah, our side is much more interesting.

Anyway, Selene sounds too girly, unless you're into the whole "mother" earth thing. I prefer to call it Luna (or Lua in Portuguese). Besides, most of the planets are named after Roman gods anyways.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ceres, the coolest asteroid

Ceres is by far the coolest asteroid in our solar system. It's huge, it's round, and could have tons of water.

How big is it? Well, let's put it this way, if you took the combined mass of all the known asteroids Ceres' mass makes up more than 1/3 of that total.

That's big enough to take on a spherical shape apparently. If you want to know the exact size, it's 578 miles in diameter.

The picture on the left is from Hubble and is the best picture we have of Ceres. However, in 2007 a spacecraft was launched to visit Ceres by 2015. The spacecraft is called Dawn and will pass by Vesta first, which could be the second largest asteroid in the solar system with an irregular diameter that averages around 500 miles.

Ceres is icy like Jupiter's moons Callisto and Europa, but Vesta is all rock.

On the right is a picture comparing Ceres size to Earth.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

John Faulk For Congress: Texas District 18

For all of you out there that are in Texas District 18, vote for John Faulk so we can oust career liberal politician Sheila Jackson Lee. She is part of the reason Congress' approval rating is 9%.

If you're not in Texas District 18, then find out which district you are in. In fact, find out who all of your Federal and State representatives are and which district you are in. One great place to do this is to go to and enter your zip code. You may have to enter your complete address to narrow it down enough. This site also lets you send letters and emails to your representatives.

Another great site for finding your district is