First image of Mercury from Messenger mission transmitted

Tomas Martin @ 16-01-2008

The first images ever of this side of the first planetMessenger, a NASA probe launched towards Mercury, has transmitted the first image of the unseen side of the first planet in our solar system, Mercury. Whilst Mariner 10 did pass Mercury 3 times in the seventies, it never saw this side due to the strange relationship between Mercury’s spin and orbit around the sun. The image is very good quality, with a lighter region in the top right corner believed to be the area of the planet that comes closest to the scorching heat of the sun.

[via Bad Astronomy Blog, picture by NASA]

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