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Photos of Mercury from NASA's Messenger Spacecraft

Mercury Messenger Flyby

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The spectacular image shown here is one of the first to be returned from MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury. The image shows the departing planet taken about 90 minutes after the spacecraft's closest approach.

Mercury's North Pole Photo by Messenger

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

This photo mosaic of Mercury's north pole from NASA's Messenger spacecraft shows radar-bright deposits inside permanently shadowed craters on the planet. Messenger has confirmed the presence of water ice inside these regions, scientists announced on Nov. 29, 2012.

Small Scarps and Graben on Mercury

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

In addition to the long, rocky cliffs thrust up by the contraction of Mercury's crust, smaller cliffs, shown at the bottom left, with white arrows, have been identified by MESSENGER's final low-altitude orbit.

Mercury Scarlatti Basin Hollows

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

This high-resolution view of Mercury shows hollows — the irregularly shaped, flat-floored depressions — on the southwestern peak ring of the Scarlatti basin. Although there are a number of small impact craters surrounding the hollows, there are few, if any, within the hollows themselves, indicating that they are much younger than the rest of the planet's

Unnamed Crater on Mercury

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

An unnamed crater on Mercury reveals details about the frozen water ice contained in its shadow. The feature's sharp, well-defined edges indicate that it is relatively young.

Unseen Terrains on Mercury

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Maps of magnesium-to-silicon ratios (left) and thermal neutron absorption (right) captured by NASA's MESSENGER mission help identify previously unseen terrains on the planet Mercury.

Mercury With Subtle Colors

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury's extreme temperatures and lack of an atmosphere would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to live on the planet.

Five Craters on Mercury for Naming

Carnegie Science/NASA/Messenger

One of five craters on Mercury that needs a name as part of a contest by NASA's MESSENGER mission outreach team and the International Astronomical Union.

Earth and Moon Seen by MESSENGER Spacecraft

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The pair of bright star-like features in the upper panel are not stars at all, but the Earth and Moon. MESSENGER was at a distance of 98 million kilometers (61 million miles) from Earth when this picture was taken. The computer-generated image in the lower left shows how the Earth appeared from Mercury at the time. Much of the Americas, all of Europe and Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia were visible. Data acquired July 19, 2013. [Read the Full Story]

Earth and Moon: Views from Saturn & Mercury

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute and NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

These images show views of Earth and the moon from NASA's Cassini probe around Saturn (left) and Messenger spacecraft at Mercury (right) from July 19, 2013. Cassini was 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away from Earth at the time, while Messenger was 61 million miles (98 million km) away. [Read the Full Story]

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