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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This wide-angle camera image was acquired nine minutes and 14 seconds after the Messenger's closest approach to Mercury on its second flyby, when the spacecraft was moving at 3.8 miles per second. This portion of Mercury's surface was previously imaged under different lighting conditions by Mariner 10, but this new image mosaic is the highest-resolution color imaging ever acquired of any portion of Mercury's surface. The largest impact feature at the top of the image is about 83 miles in diameter and is named Polygnotus, after a Greek painter from the fifth century B.C. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington )
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