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Space Science

Spacecraft Sends First Image From Mercury's Orbit 97

adeelarshad82 writes "NASA released an image of Mercury captured by its Messenger spacecraft — the first ever obtained from the planet's orbit. The first image came in at 5:20am Eastern yesterday, and over the next six hours, Messenger captured an additional 363 images, which are still being transmitted to the Messenger team on Earth. In the next three days, the spacecraft will capture another 1,185 images, with the goal of snapping 75,000 over the next year."
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Spacecraft Sends First Image From Mercury's Orbit

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  • They called that the Moon. All kidding aside, it looks like a shot of good 'ol Luna to these untrained eyes.
    • Space is such a beautiful desolate hell. Enough gravity to be round, not enough to hold a big, asteroid-burning atmosphere.
  • Umm yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sdguero ( 1112795 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @05:00PM (#35671142)
    Here are the actual photos: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/ [jhuapl.edu]
  • WTF (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @05:09PM (#35671236)

    No atmosphere, and less craters than the Moon. Lame.

    • Lame indeed. I just took a look at Messenger's supposed First Color Image of Mercury from Orbit [jhuapl.edu]. I thought I'd gone color blind. It looked so gray. Trying to reproduce the subtle shades in a color printer would be a terrible waste of ink or toner, as you'd be forced to go Cyan-Magenta-Yellow (CMY) to print out something not quite Black (K) or gray.

      The mission may yet turn up some astounding scientific discovery, but Mercury isn't a very photogenic planet, as far as celestial bodies go.

  • Seriously.

    Here [jhuapl.edu] is the link to the NASA press release.

    And here [jhuapl.edu] is the link to the image.

  • There are six key questions NASA hopes to answer during Messenger's year-long orbit of Mercury: why is Mercury so dense;


    what is the planet's geological history;


    what is the nature of Mercury's magnetic field;

    Alien warp engines.

    what is the structure of Mercury's core;

    Alien space station.

    what are the unusual materials (ice?) at Mercury's poles;

    Alien ice.

    and what volatiles are important at Mercury?

    Aliens farting.

    • you're worse than those people that thing Saturn's moon Iapetus is a huge spacecraft built by an ancient human civilization on mars to escape catastrophe and eventually settle on earth parking there spaceship at saturn for god knows what dumb reason.
    • You lost your keys, it's aliens, a picture falls off the wall, it's aliens, and that time we used a whole bog roll in a day, that was aliens as well.

      • by Pnarp ( 892014 )
        But what about that time I got my head wedged in a railing...? Was that aliens too...?
  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @05:47PM (#35671640) Homepage

    The first image came in at 5:20am Eastern yesterday

    What's the local time on Mercury for that?

  • Why in the name of all things holy does this link to pcmag? For godsake just go to nasa.gov [slashdot.org]. It doesn't make too much of a difference on this topic, but it's getting really bad. Just look at the Fukushima stories. I know it sounds silly to complain so much, but people seriously need to learn the difference—and more importantly how to find—primary sources. Intentional or not, there's a huge amount of misinformation out there and there's just no reason every article on /. needs to be routed t

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner