Picture of the Day: Color Image of Mercury

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is the first to orbit Mercury, the small planet close to the sun. The very bright crater at the top of the picture is the Dominici crater. Scientists studying the data from MESSENGER are trying to estimate how deep Dominici is. The brightness of the rays extending from Dominici indicate a younger crater than the other faded craters nearby. This picture was acquired in early September.


Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/10/picture-of-the-day-color-image-of-mercury/247441/