EXPLORE THE WORLDS ABOVE

EXPLORE THE WORLDS ABOVE

LET’S EXPLORE MERCURY

  • Mercury is the closest planet to our Sun, more than twice as close as we are here on Earth.
  • Mercury is closer to the Sun than Venus, but Venus experiences higher temperatures. This makes Mercury the second hottest planet in our solar system.
  • Mercury is the smallest planet in our Solar System. It is even smaller than Jupiter’s moon Ganymede and Saturn’s moon Titan.
  • Your weight on Mercury would be only about 1/3 of your weight on Earth.
  • A year on Mercury is only 88 Earth days long, and it takes Mercury 58 days to rotate once. If you stood on Mercury, it would take 176 Earth days for you to see two sunrises.

Mariner 10
Launched: November 3, 1973

NASA’s Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft sent to study Mercury. Mariner 10 also studied Venus while using the planet’s gravity to modify its speed and trajectory, enabling it to reach Mercury. Source: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/mariner-10/in-depth/

MESSENGER
Launched: Aug. 3, 2004
NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft orbited Mercury for more than four years. Among its accomplishments, the mission determined Mercury’s surface composition, revealed its geological history, discovered details about its internal magnetic field, and verified its polar deposits are dominantly water-ice. The mission ended when MESSENGER slammed into Mercury’s surface. Source: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/messenger/in-depth/

Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Published: April 4, 2018
This colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER’s primary mission.

Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Published: April 15, 2015
This mosaic of oblique images highlights the spectacular interior of Abedin crater. The crater floor is covered with once-molten rock melted by the impact event that formed Abedin. Cracks that formed as this melt cooled are visible.
Particularly intriguing is the shallow depression that lies amidst the central peaks of the crater and may be volcanic in origin. Color imaging shows that this depression is surrounded by reddish material, as seen at other sites of explosive volcanism across Mercury.

Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie
Published: December 21, 2009
MESSENGER’s Wide Angle Camera (WAC), part of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), is equipped with 11 narrow-band color filters. As the spacecraft receded from Mercury after making its closest approach on 14 January 2008, the WAC recorded a 3×3 mosaic covering part of the planet not previously seen by spacecraft.

Source: NASA/JPL
Published: January 11, 2001
Mercury: Computer Photomosaic of the Southern Hemisphere
The Image Processing Lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory produced this photomosaic using computer software and techniques developed for use in processing planetary data. The Mariner 10 spacecraft imaged the region during its initial flyby of the planet.

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