MESSENGER swings by Mercury again

MESSENGER Mercury image

Images are now available from the MESSENGER probe’s second fly-by of Mercury. This image “is one of the first to be returned and shows a WAC image of the departing planet taken about 90 minutes after the spacecraft’s closest approach to Mercury. The bright crater just south of the center of the image is Kuiper, identified on images from the Mariner 10 mission in the 1970s. For most of the terrain east of Kuiper, toward the limb (edge) of the planet, the departing images are the first spacecraft views of that portion of Mercury’s surface.”

(Photo credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.)

Previously: MESSENGER images!