Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Because this Blog Has Mercury in Its Name

MESSENGER's first picture from Mercury orbit (courtesy NASA)

This is the first image ever taken from orbit around Mercury. Pretty cool, right? The image comes from NASA’s MESSENGER. NASA had this to say on its image of the day page:

At 5:20 am EDT on Mar. 29, 2011, MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury. This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System’s innermost planet. Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down.

Phil at Bad Astronomy has more including the name of that big crater, Debussy.


  1. I’ve been paying a bunch of attention to this as well. How cool is it that the crater is called Debussy! They should name the others after other artists…

  2. Love that you posted this. Great links, too, esp. the naming one. I didn’t know, but I love it. All those artists close to our sun.

    These sorts of revelations (beautiful science) gives me hope. I don’t know why exactly, but they do. This does. Mercury & Messenger do.

  3. Pretty cool. I feel out of the loop…we landed rovers on Mars. It seems like we would’ve orbited Mercury decades ago.

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