Departure view from MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury
Filed under pretty pictures, global views, Mercury, MESSENGER
As MESSENGER sped away from its October 6, 2008 encounter with Mercury, it captured this view of a face of the planet mostly previously unseen by spacecraft. A recent impact near the north pole has left its mark on Mercury in the form of a spectacular set of rays stretching right around nearly to the south pole. Two other recent impacts have also left large ray systems. The ray crater nearest the center of this image was previously seen on the edge of the Mariner 10 images and is named Kuiper. All the terrain to the east (right) of Kuiper is new.
NASA / JHUAPL / CIW
Original image data dated on or about October 6, 2008