At the end of each year, it has become a MESSENGER tradition to compile some of the featured images, as a way to celebrate the mission's accomplishments. Revisit the previous compilations from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, highlighting the many views of Mercury that the mission has provided over its years of operations.
While we celebrate another successful year for MESSENGER, this posting is also bittersweet. This 2014 image compilation will be the final in the tradition. In April 2015, MESSENGER's operational mission will come to an end, as the spacecraft depletes its fuel and impacts Mercury's surface. However, the last few months of MESSENGER operations hold exciting opportunities, including science data obtained closer to the planet's surface than ever previously accomplished. And most importantly, though MESSENGER's operations will end in 2015, the extensive datasets the mission has acquired will continue to be studied for many years to come!
January: Coloful Kertesz in Caloris
March: In and Out of Caloris
April: Wonder at Waters
May: Raditladi's Troughs
June: The Contrasting Colors of Sander and Munch
July: Peak-a-boo Eminescu
August: Watch Out! The Floor's Hollow & MESSENGER Flyover Movie
September: Hemingway's Color
October: The Pantheon in 3D! & Lunar Eclipse, as Viewed by MESSENGER!
November: On the Cutting Edge
December: Off the Edge
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.