EPO Materials and Resources available for download
Click on any of the links below and save them to your computer. Many are zipped files, which can be unzipped after downloading. For interactives, please READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS! You will probably find it helpful to print the Instructions page for future reference.
- MESSENGER interactives:Here you can view these interactives as they should appear. If you CAN run the interactives from this page it will save you time and some headaches, but if you do not have internet access in a given venue then you can download the source files below and run them directly from your computer.
- Gravity Assist Simulator:Save fuel...use gravity! Spacecraft often use the gravity of planets to change their speed and direction. Use this Gravity Assist Simulator to explore how these maneuvers can be used to speed up, slow down, and change the trajectory of a spacecraft. Important: this simulator was designed to be used in conjunction with this activity and datasheet Invisible Collisions.
- Going Around the Sun:Mercury travels around the Sun faster than any other planet, taking only 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. Unlike the Earth, whose rotation on its axis takes 24 hours, Mercury takes about 59 Earth days to make complete rotation. Mercury’s rotational period is exactly 2/3 of the time it takes for Mercury to complete one orbit around the Sun. In this animation you can explore this 3:2 spin-orbit resonance.
- Planet Size Comparison:Mercury is the smallest planet. In fact, Mercury is not much larger than our Moon. In this animation you can find out how Mercury "sizes up" to Earth or any other planet.
- Beginners Fact Challenge:Want to challenge yourself with some Mercurian Trivia? If so, check out the Fast Fact Challenge which contains questions about this mysterious planet.
- Advanced Fact Challenge:If the Beginners Fast Fact Challenge wasn’t so challenging, test your knowledge here with more Mercurian trivia.
- Journey to Mercury:What does it take to get a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury? Watch videos of MESSENGER scientists and engineers captured before the spacecraft launched talking about the making of the mission, and the spectacular opportunities it presents! Hear answers to questions like: What are the challenges? What do we hope to learn? How was the spacecraft designed and built? How will it get to Mercury? What has been discovered so far? Why does it take incredible teamwork for success? You will also find printable PDF files.
- Mosaic Postcards from Mercury:Mimic the process used by MESSENGER scientists and make a mosaic of Mercury on the "Print Side." Or, zoom into rayed craters, scarps, volcanic areas and more to explore the unique features that make up this planet using the Surface Interactive. You will find all of the print materials you need to make a mosaic and you might learn something fascinating along the way!
- The Sun on Mercury:Because Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, the Sun would appear much larger than it does on Earth. Sunrise to sunset on the planet Mercury takes 88 Earth days where the sun would appear to grow and shrink in size. In this animation you can experience a different view of the Sun.
- A Day on Mercury:Since Mercury rotates exactly three times for every two orbits, a day on Mercury would be quite different from a typical Earth day. In fact, because of this 3:2 resonance, you would have daylight for 88 consecutive Earth days followed by 88 Earth days of darkness. Even more interesting is the path of the Sun as seen from the surface of Mercury around high noon. In this animation you can experience this typical Mercurian day.
- Planet Mass Comparison:The objects in our solar system have an enormous range of sizes and masses. This animation is intended to help you compare the masses of the individual planets, our Moon, and the Sun.
- Check to make sure you have the latest and greatest version of Flash installed (Adobe Flash download).
- It might also help to update your browser.
- Did you select the approriate file to run? Many of the files in eached zipped folder have similar names, but only the one listed in the Instructions page (available near the top of this page) should be clicked.
- Could you just skip this additional headache and run the interactive from the website provided above? Hint: for most of them you can navigate to the interactive when you have internet access and then just leave it on your screen for later use. The navigation buttons on the left and across the top associated with the website will not work, but most of the interactives load upon first click, so it will still be useable.