Mercury 'Spider' Has Fans Seeing Babylon 5 Shadow Ships

NASA's MESSENGER probe has shown a whole new side of Mercury in its flyby a few weeks ago. And one particular feature has science fiction fans rubbing their eyes.


(NASA shows Mercury 'spider' feature)

It turns out that a season 3 episode of Babylon 5, Messages from Earth, first aired in February of 1996, shows a Shadow ship found on Ganymede. In the comic version, the ship was sighted on Mars.


(Shadow spacecraft from Babylon 5)

The feature on Mercury is obviously not a ship, but scientists are perplexed by it, since there seems to be nothing else like it in the solar system.

"It's a real mystery, a very unexpected find," said Louise Prockter, an instrument scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which built the probe for the $446 million NASA mission. She said whatever event created the spider "is anybody's guess," but suggested perhaps a volcanic intrusion beneath the planet's surface led to the formation of the troughs.

Read more about Mercury's mysterious spider spot; thanks to BajaB for the tip and reference for this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/31/2008)

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