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Mercury’s Surface as Seen by MESSENGER

  • David A. Rothery
Chapter
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

As the first flyby on 14 January 2008 drew near, it was with mounting anticipation that I, and doubtless many others, repeatedly refreshed my browser for updates to the MESSENGER website. The first image to appear, captioned ‘MESSENGER Readies for Its Encounter with Mercury’ was acquired by the NAC on 9 January and showed merely a distant crescent. Subsequent daily images showed a slightly bigger view of the same thing, but little detail. The most interesting thing about them was how successive captions used different words to say the same thing: ‘MESSENGER Closes in on Mercury’, ‘MESSENGER Nears Mercury’ and ‘MESSENGER Has Mercury in Its Sights’. However the 5th image, acquired 36 h before closest approach ‘Countdown to MESSENGER’s Closest Approach to Mercury’ revealed recognisable features at last (Fig. 4.1).

Keywords

Impact Crater Frontal Thrust Basin Edge Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Late Heavy Bombardment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Rothery
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical SciencesThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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