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30 March 2011

First Image of Mercury from Orbit

MESSENGER just returned the first image of Mercury ever taken from orbit around the planet!

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17 March 2011

Orbiting Mercury

In a little over 12 hours, the spacecraft MESSENGER will finally be orbiting the planet Mercury. It’s been a long trip: MESSENGER launched way back in August of 2004 and has spent the intervening time doing flybys of Earth, Venus and Mercury. To date it has gone almost 4.9 billion miles.

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31 May 2010

Solar System Tour: Mercury

Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. It is 4,879 kilometers across. Compare that with our moon, which is 3456 km across, and you can see that Mercury is not very big. In fact, Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Callisto and Saturn’s moon Titan are bigger! Even though those moons are bigger, Mercury weighs a lot more than they do because it is made of mostly metal and rock. …

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