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The United States Geological Survey has just released a new atlas of Mercury, the first to be based upon the three flybys worth of image data gathered by the MESSENGER mission.
This week's Carnival of Space may be found at Steve's Astro Corner.
As MESSENGER zoomed toward Mercury for its third flyby, it was commanded to rotate in a maneuver that would help it test a surprising result from the second flyby.
The caption to today's image release from the MESSENGER team concerns their long-term campaign to study Mercury's brightness through a range of phase angles.
Here's a pretty shot of Mercury taken by MESSENGER on approach...but wait, what's that tiny little speck in the lower left corner of the photo?
Third Time's No Charm: MESSENGER's Third Gravity Assist Successful, But "Safe Mode" Interrupts Science
MESSENGER is fast approaching the third and final Mercury flyby during its seven-year journey to the innermost planet.
When MESSENGER flew past Mercury for a second time on October 6, 2008, its cameras snapped photos of an impressive 30 percent of the planet's surface that had never previously been seen by spacecraft.
As MESSENGER flew past the night side of Mercury in January, its Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) scooped up ions from an atmosphere so tenuous that it's usually called an
Just two weeks after MESSENGER's first flyby of Mercury, the mission's science team presented their first impressions from the long-awaited second look at the innermost planet.
On the evening of Tuesday, January 15, the MESSENGER science team crowded around a computer screen, anxiously awaiting their first view of the previously unseen hemisphere of Mercury.
Mercury scientists' very long wait for new data from a spacecraft at Mercury will finally come to an end on Monday, when MESSENGER makes its first close approach to the innermost planet.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is zeroing in on Venus for the most significant gravity assist maneuver of its long journey to Mercury.
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