Enhanced-colour composite of the Caloris Basin, Mercury
© NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washingto
Mercury in retrograde
Today we’re travelling to outer space to catch a glimpse of the Caloris Basin on the planet Mercury. This small planet—about the size of Earth’s moon—is riddled with craters, but none as spectacular as the Caloris Basin. This large crater is about 1,500 kilometres across and is ringed by mile-high mountains.
Now, the study of space is called astronomy, and that's generally our focus when we feature stars, planets, and galaxies on the Bing homepage. But according to those who practice astrology, you may have been noticing an uptick in confusion or a spate of misfortune lately. Astrologers will tell you that 'Mercury retrograde' could be the culprit. Lasting through July 12, this is one of three times each year that Mercury appears to be travelling backwards—or what's sometimes called Mercury retrograde. This happens due to an optical illusion caused by differences in Earth's orbit relative to Mercury's. Because Mercury is named after the Roman’s Messenger of the Gods, astrology associates the planet with communication. Accordingly, during Mercury retrograde, the astrologically inclined expect misunderstandings, scheduling problems, and disagreements to abound.