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Photos of Mercury from NASA's Messenger Spacecraft

Peak-Ring Basin Scarlatti on Mercury

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

The peak-ring basin Scarlatti on Mercury is seen at the center of this image taken by MESSENGER spacecraft on March 30, 2014.

Sunlit Side of the Planet Mercury

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

This view, looking from the shadows toward the sunlit side of planet Mercury, shows a 75-mi. (120-km) impact crater standing out near the center. Image acquired Oct. 2, 2013.

Tansen Crater on Mercury

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

First seen by Mariner 10 in 1974, Tansen has not been featured on MESSENGER's gallery until today. It is among Mercury's smaller named craters at just 27 kilometers (~17 mi.) in diameter. Image acquired September 9, 2013.

Praxiteles Crater on Mercury

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

Messenger spacecraft obrtained this image of Mercury on Feb. 12, 2013. Within Praxiteles crater, several potential volcanic vents are visible. One such vent, in the bottom left of this image, is particularly interesting because it also hosts many hollows. The bottom right of the image shows a crater chain that has also been altered by the formation of hollows. Further study is needed to fully understand the relationship between hollows and the materials in which they form.

Wrinkle Ridges on Mercury

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

This view from NASA's Messenger spacecraft orbiting Mercury shows a region of smooth, volcanic plains that have been heavily modified by tectonic structures termed "wrinkle ridges," low, sinuous features that form when lavas cool and subside, causing the crust to contract horizontally. Image released Feb. 10, 2012.

Happy Little Crater on Mercury

NASA

The central peaks of this complex crater on Mercury formed in such a way that it resembles a smiling face. This image was taken by NASA's Messenger spacecraft.

Mercury's Northern Plains

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

These image of Mercury by NASA's Messenger probe show the distinctive color of the planet's northern plains and their surrounding terrain. The top image is as Messenger saw the scene, with the bottom image enhanced to bring out features. Image released June 16, 2011.

MESSENGER Mission in Mercury Orbit

NASA

Artist's impression of the NASA's MESSENGER mission in Mercury orbit.

Messenger at Mercury

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

Artist's impression of NASA's Messenger spacecraft in orbit at Mercury. Messenger arrived at the solar system's innermost planet in March 2011.

MESSENGER at Mercury

NASA/JHU APL/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Artist's concept of NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury. MESSENGER is due to end its mission with a plunge onto the planet's surface on April 30, 2015.

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