NASA: Mercury latest photos taken by Messenger spacecraft released

By on Jun 18, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, United States, World Comments

NASA released on Thursday, June 16, 2011 the latest photos of planet Mercury taken by the Messenger spacecraft, as shown below.

As noted by NASA on its official website on Thursday, Messenger has already taken thousands of images of planet Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, and were being sent back home.

Last March 18, NASA‘s Messenger (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) has successfully entered the orbit of planet Mercury for the first time in history.

Before the month ended, NASA released the first photos of planet Mercury taken by Messenger in which a dual imaging system was used, the Narrow Angle and the Wide Angle camera.

Now that after spending almost three months in space, Messenger sent the latest images of Mercury which NASA announced that important clues to the origin of the planet and its geological history is now slowly being revealed.

This week, spacecraft Messenger was said to have completed is first perihelion passage from orbit, its first superior solar conjunction from orbit, as well as its first orbit-correction maneuver.

“Those milestones provide important context to the continuing feast of new observations that Messenger has been sending home on nearly a daily basis,” Messenger Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, was quoted on the report.

Apparently, scientists now realized that bursts of energetic particles in Mercury‘s magnetosphere are a continuing effect of the interaction of the planet’s magnetic field with the solar wind.

Note: Use navigation keys below to see other photos from the succeeding pages.



Photo taken last May 4, 2011, showing March crater, named for the 15th century Valencian
poet Ausiàs March.

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


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