Far Away, So Close!
The average distance between Mercury and Earth is about 155 million kilometers (97 million miles). MESSENGER, a durable, never-complaining robotic explorer, works 24 hours per day to bridge this great expanse for us. The image above is one of the highest-resolution ("closest") views of Mercury's surface that has ever been captured. It shows an area of complicated geology where the rims of two impact craters intersect. We can see the floor of a smaller crater in the upper part of the image, and the steep walls and terraces of a larger crater in the lower part of the image.
Date acquired: April 30, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington