PIA02961: Mercury at First Encounter Closest Approach
 Target Name:  Mercury
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mariner Venus Mercury (Mariner 10) 
 Spacecraft:  Mariner 10
 Product Size:  1000 x 778 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Producer ID:  P14474
 Addition Date:  2000-08-24
Mariner 10 Image Project
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA02961.tif (917.1 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA02961.jpg (162 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

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Taken only minutes after Mariner 10 made its closest approach to the planet Mercury on March 29, this is one of the highest resolution pictures obtained during the mission. Craters as small as 150 meters (500 feet) across can be seen. The picture, taken from a distance of about 5900 kilometers (3700 miles), measures 50 by 40 kilometers 931 by 25 miles). The relativity level surface contrasts with the abundant relief seen in some close-up views on the opposite side of the planet. The long, narrow area of hills and scarps to the left resembles ridges in the mare of Earth's moon. Abundant craters in various stages of degradation dot the surface.

The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.

NOTE: This image was scanned from physical media.

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