31 Mar '11, 1am

Nasa has released photographs of Mercury, taken by its Messenger spacecraft after a 6.5-year, 7.9-billion-km journey

Nasa has released photographs of Mercury, taken by its Messenger spacecraft after a 6.5-year, 7.9-billion-km journey

This image provided by Nasa was photographed by the spacecraft Messenger, the first ever images made from a spacecraft while in orbit around the planet. -- PHOTO: AP WASHINGTON - NASA celebrated on Wednesday hundreds of stunning photographs from the Mercury Messenger probe as it began a year-long mission to orbit and map the solar system's mysterious innermost planet. After more than six and a half years and a 7.9-billion-kilometre journey, the spacecraft - which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging - finally entered the planet's orbit on March 17. On Tuesday, it began unlocking the secrets of a planet where temperatures reach a mind-boggling 427 deg C during the day but plummet to minus 100 deg C at night. 'Early this morning, at 5.20 am EDT (0920 GMT, 5.20pm Singapore time), Messenger captured this historic image of Mercury,' Nasa said...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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