Photo of the day: Mercury via BepiColombo

The BepiColombo mission support group published the first image of Mercury obtained during the second flyby of the planet on June 23. The picture was taken by one of the device’s selfie cameras from a distance of 920 km.

Image of Mercury taken during the second flyby of the BepiColombo spacecraft (annotated version). Source: ESA/BepiColombo/MTM

Photo BepiColombo allows us to “touch” the rich geology of the first planet from the Sun. Numerous shock formations covering its surface can be seen on it. Among them are the 130-kilometer Eminescu crater, the 240-kilometer Kunisada crater, the 170-kilometer Izquierdo crater and the 24-kilometer Xiao Zhao crater. From the last, along the Mercurian surface, characteristic light rays stretched out, indicating its geological youth.

In the photo you can also see one of the vast plains of the planet, which in the past was flooded by lava flows. BepiColombo photographed and Challenger Rupes. Its height reaches 2 km, and its length exceeds 200 km. The surface of Mercury is covered with many similar structures. It is believed that they were formed in the distant past during the compression that accompanied the cooling of the planet.

Image of Mercury taken during the second flyby of the BepiColombo spacecraft. Source: ESA/BepiColombo/MTM

In addition to Mercury, a piece of BepiColombo also got into the frame — the magnetometer boom (left) and a fragment of one of its antennas (right). 

It is worth noting that this is only the first of a whole series of images of Mercury taken by BepiColombo during its new visit to the planet. It is expected that the remaining photos will be published by ESA in the coming days.

According to

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