Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

MESSENGER's solar system family portrait

Filed under pretty pictures, Mercury, MESSENGER, Venus, Neptune, Earth, stars and galaxies, Mars, many worlds, Uranus, Jupiter

Go Back

MESSENGER's solar system family portrait On its way to its planned Mercury orbit insertion in March 2011, MESSENGER became the first spacecraft to be able to gaze out onto the solar system from its center. MESSENGER's cameras captured most of the 34 images on November 3, 2010, but, in order to protect its instruments from the glare of the Sun, had to wait to capture the frames near and covering Neptune until November 16. In the mosaic, all of the planets are visible except for Uranus and Neptune, which v at distances of 3.0 and 4.4 billion kilometers v were too faint to detect. But MESSENGER's cameras could spot Earth's Moon and Jupiter's Galilean satellites (Callisto, Europa, Io, and Ganymede). The Solar System's perch on a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy also afforded a beautiful view of a portion of the galaxy in the bottom center.

NASA / JHUAPL / Carnegie Institution of Washington

Original image data dated on or about November 16, 2010.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.


Other Related Images


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!