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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By taking pictures in a focused range of 11 color bands, the Messenger is able to capture enhanced color differences on Mercury's surface, providing insight into the composition and the geologic processes that caused these color differences. The bright orange material (left arrow) just below the Lermontov crater is most likely the after-effect of many volcanic eruptions in Mercury's violent past. The wispy blue linear fragments are rays of distant impact craters, while the mysterious dark-blue features unevenly covering Mercury's surface seem to be highly concentrated in a small area (right arrow). The previous slide is a close-up image of the region in the white box. (NASA)
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