Little-known fact of the day: most craters on Mercury are named after famous writers and artists.

This one, for example, is known as ‘Dickens’, after Charles Dickens.

Since Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, it seems like an appropriate shot for an Advent calendar.

The picture comes from NASA’s amazing photostream on Flickr and was taken from the MESSENGER spacecraft, the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury.

And while we are on the subject of NASA and Christmas, here’s an awesome shot of a kind of celestial snow angel.

Taken on 14 December, it shows ‘a bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106’. It is nearly 2,000 light years away from Earth and the ‘wings’ of the nebula are several light years across. More mind-blowing information here.

3 thoughts on “twenty-one

  1. How interesting – I didn’t know that. Great photographs too. So, if it’s named after Charles Dickens who wrote A Christmas Carol then feasibly it could be a ‘Christmas Crater’. I know my jokes are awful. I love the celestial angel, thank you.

    I know that you originally said that you were going to post every day in advent and I just wondered if it’s been a challenge, something you’ve enjoyed, has it surprised you in any way – turned out differently from what you expected? Sorry just nosey me but I’m interested because this is a particular project and having read your original post I understand that it deviates a little from how you would normally use your blog.

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts and your photographs are really lovely, often they really grasp nature. Anyhow just wanted to say thank you – my advent has been marked by your posts. You’ve been my advent calendar!

    • What a lovely comment, Jacqueline. Thank you so much, Very interesting question about the experience of blogging every day and I’m still thinking about this. I have definitely enjoyed it; it has been good having a daily focus and has felt a little like an anchor in a time of great hurly burly! But I’m quite an introverted and shy person and still struggle with the whole idea of putting myself ‘out there’, especially as I didn’t really plan this in detail. I’ve really enjoyed your positive reactions, though – thanks for being a great encouragement!

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