|In this heat map red represents the areas of Mercury’s surface where temperatures are up to 126C|
Excerpt from express.co.uk
The spacecraft will hit into Mercury’s surface on April 30 after almost four years exploring the planet closest to the Sun.
Dr Nancy Chabot, the instrument scientist for Messenger’s Mercury Dual Imaging System, said: “We’re seeing into these craters that don’t see the Sun, at higher resolution than was ever possible before.”
One shot taken by Messenger shows deep craters on the face of Mercury.
The planet’s lack of atmosphere means any space debris that hits the planet leaves large craters.
We’re seeing into these craters that don’t see the Sun, at higher resolution than was ever possible before
In the shot the vast majority of the planet’s surface is red which shows its scorchingly hot surface temperatures.
Sean Solomon, a principal investigator for the mission, added: “We’re able to see at close range portions of the planet we haven’t seen in such detail before.”