The Big Picture: Mercury

The entire universe in blog form
June 9 2009 8:30 AM

The Big Picture: Mercury

Yesterday, The Boston Globe's feature The Big Picture features shots from the Mercury MESSENGER probe. Regular readers know I love this little spacecraft, and have written about it many times. TBP has some great images, including this one:

Kuiper crater on Mercury from MESSENGER

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That's Kuiper crater on Mercury, and if you showed it to me with no advance notice I'd swear it was Tycho on our own Moon. Mercury and the Moon are very similar in many ways, in fact, but Mercury is still holding back a lot of secrets from us. Until March, 2011, that is, which is when MESSENGER will fall into orbit around Mercury. I expect then we'll get lots of answers to our questions... and find we have a lot more questions. That's where the fun of science is!

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies! Follow him on Twitter.