back to article Astroboffins spot smiley face on Mercury

It may not be an image as mysterious as the "Face on Mars" spotted by Viking I in 1976, but NASA's MESSENGER Mercury orbiter has snapped a shot of whimsical smiley-faced crater on that desolate planet. "It looks like even the craters on Mercury have heard of Bob Ross!" NASA exclaimed when unveiling the photo, referring to the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    You fools! It's just the angle of the light! When the sun shifts around that smile will turn upside down, and then...

  2. Hollerith 1

    as the song says...

    ...a smile is just a frown/turned upside down.

  3. Ian Michael Gumby

    Is that a 3 eyed BEM or a large zit on a pock marked face of a teenager?

  4. Graham Marsden

    There's one of these...

    ... on Mars.

    Ask Dr Manhattan...

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Since, as yet, no one else has...

    ...let me be the first to welcome our happy, smiling Mercurial overlords.

    1. Katie Saucey

      Re: Since, as yet, no one else has...OK then...

      ..nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure...

  6. Tom 7

    Button moon is back!

    At last!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    The Watchmen live!!!

    The icon says it all.....

  8. Martin Huizing

    I'd upvote all of you above....

    ...if it wasn't for this dated voting system that takes me away from this page...

    Reg, please change with the times or you will lose a loyal Reg reader!

    And yes! All hail the smiling overlords! (We Come In Peace; Shoot To Kill!)

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'd upvote all of you above....

      I see where you're coming from, because this used to bug me as well, until I thought about it. I can also see a reason why El Reg does that with the voting buttons, and I would actually suggest that they NOT change the way the voting works.

      I'm perfectly sure that the coders of the Reg's site are more than capable of using AJAX to make voting seamless and instantaneous, like a Facebook Like button, with no page changes, so it seems to me there's a reason that they haven't.

      You said it yourself: "I'd upvote all of you above...if it wasn't for this dated voting system that takes me away from the page." What that really means is that votes, because of the effort required to enter them, have a value that making it quicker and easier to vote would diminish.

      What you're missing is that the time and effort required to go through the voting process gives a value to the vote. If someone goes through all that page-refreshing palaver involved with upvoting or downvoting someone's post, it means that they consider your post worth the time and effort involved in doing so. And that gives the vote value and meaning. Which means that when I see 25 upvotes on one of my posts, it means that at least 25 people went to the trouble of reading my post, and agreed with it or liked it to the point where they spent the time and effort of clicking through a cumbersome voting system to express their approval.

      It also gives weight to downvotes in the same way: if you have a lot of downvotes, it means you've annoyed that many people to the point that they felt it necessary to go through the voting rigmarole to express their disapproval. This is exactly why people on these forums complain about downvotes - because they know that as a result of the time involved in giving one it has a value that a casual AJAX-driven-one-click-instant dislike does not have. I myself only go to the trouble of downvoting posts if I feel the poster is a complete idiot who has pissed me off enough to go to the bother (and which makes the feeling of downvoting someone that much more satisfying!)

      So I'd say to El Reg: Keep the voting system exactly the way it is. It gives value to the votes because of the time and effort required to submit them, in an age when quick'n'easy one-click solutions have become all too common!

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "deficit-crazed, ax-wielding Congress"

    LOL what?

    "According to the CBO projection the budget deficit could fall to $641 billion in 2013 from $1.128 trillion in 2012."

    Only 641 billion overspending? How do they manage to do that magic?

    "According to the CBO data, government outlays are expected to fall in 2013 by $9 billion to $3.563 trillion after a projected decline of $40 billion in 2012."

    Holy shit, they cut a full 9 billion dollars!! Call the wahambulance!

  10. Flugal


    That's (Freddie) Mercury's face on Mercury - and it's not a smile, it's a moustache, conveniently in time for 'Movember'.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the Face is on Mars. the Butt is on Mercury!

    TV never lies :P

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