A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Hello, friends!

Do you have a favorite planet?  Each planet of the Solar System is beautiful in its own way, and weird in its own way, and dangerous in its own way.  It’s almost like each planet has its own distinct personality.  When you start learning about the planets, it’s hard to not pick a favorite.  My own favorite is Venus, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.  Today, I’m announcing my theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge, and that theme will be:


For those of you who don’t know, the A to Z Challenge is a month long blogging event.  Throughout the month of April, participants write twenty-six blog posts (starting with A, ending with Z) on a topic of their choice.  In previous years, I’ve used the A to Z Challenge as a platform to talk about scientific terminology, the search for alien life, and humanity’s future as a spacefaring species.  If you want to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, and if you’re interested in signing up yourself, please click here.

Now you may be wondering about the theme I picked this year.  Out of all space/science topics I could cover for an A to Z series, why the heck would I pick Mercury?  Mercury is not Mars, or Saturn, or Pluto.  Mercury is not a super exciting place.  There’s virtually no atmosphere.  There are absolutely no signs of life.  And if you’re thinking about future human habitats in space, Mercury may be the least appealing piece of real estate in the entire Solar System.

Observing Mercury with a telescope is inconvenient, due to Mercury’s proximity to the Sun.  Reaching Mercury with a spacecraft is also inconvenient, again due to the planet’s proximity to the Sun.  And what does all the inconvenience of observing Mercury or traveling to Mercury get you?  A grey rock.  There are a bunch of craters.  It gets really hot during the day, due (yet again) to the proximity of the Sun.  And there’s not a whole lot else worth saying about Mercury, right?

Wrong.  By the end of this year’s A to Z Challenge, I do not expect to change your mind about whatever your favorite planet happens to be.  My favorite planet will still be Venus.  But I do hope you’ll come to appreciate Mercury for what he truly is: a humble grey rock, with a few weird quirks, and a surprisingly big heart (by which I mean a surprisingly big planetary core–for such a small planet, Mercury has an enormous core!).

P.S.: I will be taking the rest of March off from regular blogging.  I’m still picking up the pieces after a recent family emergency, and I’ve decided that whatever free time I do have for blogging should go to preparing for this A to Z series.  So I’ll see you all on April 1st, when “A” will be for “amorphous ice.”