First Image of Mercury from Orbit
Earlier this month, NASA’s MESSENGER probe became the first manmade object to enter Mecury’s orbit, and yesterday it made another historic first: It captured the first-ever image of Mercury taken from space.
The dominant rayed crater in the upper portion of the image is Debussy. The smaller crater Matabei with its unusual dark rays is visible to the west of Debussy. The bottom portion of this image is near Mercury’s south pole and includes a region of Mercury’s surface not previously seen by spacecraft. Compare this image to the planned image footprint to see the region of newly imaged terrain, south of Debussy.
MESSENGER is planned to take more than 75,000 more images of Mercury over the coming year.
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