Mercury: Images of a Violent Planet

NASA's MESSGENGER spacecraft probes innermost planet in the solar system.

Mercury: Images of a Violent Planet

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After the Messenger made the closest approach ever to Mercury, skimming just 124 miles above the surface, the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) captured some of of the highest-resolution color images ever obtained of the planet. The MDIS uses 11 narrow-band spectral filters covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The specific colors of the filters help discriminate among the common minerals. Using a combination of three images, Mercury, as might be seen by the human eye, left, shows only slight color differences. However, Mercury's color image, right, using methods with 11 filters, reveals exaggerated color trends. (NASA)
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