Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and due to its proximity it is not easily seen except during twilight. For every two orbits of the Sun Mercury completes three rotations about its axis and up until 1965 it was thought that the same side of Mercury constantly faced the Sun. Thirteen times a century Mercury can be observed from Earth passing across the face of the Sun in an event called a transit, the next will occur on the 9th May 2016.
This dataset was created using data from the MESSENGER mission. It is a global mosaic that covers 99.9% of Mercury’s surface, and image details are available here.

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

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and due to its proximity it is not easily seen except during twilight. For every two orbits of the Sun Mercury completes three rotations about its axis and up until 1965 it was thought that the same side of Mercury constantly faced the Sun. Thirteen times a century Mercury can be observed from Earth passing across the face of the Sun in an event called a transit, the next will occur on the 9th May 2016.

This dataset was created using data from the MESSENGER mission. It is a global mosaic that covers 99.9% of Mercury’s surface, and image details are available here.

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


Posted 4 months ago with 581 notes
Tagged:Astronomymercurysolar systemspaceplanetgifNASAeducation

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