This is a false color image of a mosaic of Mercury.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Mercury's orbit is so close to the Sun that it is hard to see from
the ground. This is why early astronomers couldn't see it!
Viewed from Earth, Mercury is never far from
the Sun in the sky. Because of the Sun's glare, we can only see Mercury at twilight.
The one and only space mission to visit
Mercury was Mariner 10,
which passed by the planet three times in 1974. But NASA is now sending a new spacecraft called Messenger to Mercury in 2004!
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