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Messenger Views Mercury's Horizon
Mercury's horizon as seen by MessengerClick image to enlarge.

As NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft drew closer to Mercury for its historic first flyby, the spacecraft acquired this image showing a variety of surface textures, including smooth plains at the center of the image, numerous impact craters and rough material that appears to have been ejected from the large crater to the lower right.

MESSENGER has acquired over 1200 images of Mercury. These types of images will assist scientists to study, as never before, details to help them learn about the history and evolution of the innermost planet. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington