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Prior to the D-Day landing in Normandy, France in June 1944, General Irwin Rommel stated ""Glauben Sie mir, meine Herren, die ersten vierundzwanzig Stunden dieser Invasion werden entscheidend sein! Das wird für die Alliierten, aber auch für die Deutschen, der längste Tag werden — der längste Tag." ("Believe me, gentlemen, the first twenty-four hours of this invasion will be decisive! It will become for the Allies, as well as for the Germans, the longest day — the longest day.")" LINK

The phrase "The Longest Day" was title of a book by Cornelius Ryan that was made into a film. However we now have  a much longer day. The Messenger space probe now in orbit  around Mercury has been in orbit for 1 Mercury Day! On APOD, it states "One solar day on a planet is the length of time from noon to noon. A solar day lasts 24 hours on planet Earth. On Mercury a solar day is about 176 Earth days long. And during its first Mercury solar day in orbit the MESSENGER spacecraft has imaged nearly the entire surface of the innermost planet to generate a global monochrome map at 250 meters per pixel resolution and a 1 kilometer per pixel resolution color map. Examples of the maps, mosaics constructed from thousands of images made under uniform lighting conditions, are shown (monochrome at left), both centered along the planet's 75 degrees East longitude meridian. The MESSENGER spacecraft's second Mercury solar day will likely include more high resolution targeted observations of the planet's surface features. (Editor's note: Due to Mercury's 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, a Mercury solar day is 2 Mercury years long.)"  LINK

Mosaic of Mercury

Posted on Sunday, October 9, 2011 8:35 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: We now have a new contender for "The Longest Day"!

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