This historic image is the first ever taken from a spacecraft in orbit about <a href="/mercury/mercury.html&edu=high&dev=">Mercury</a>, the innermost planet of the solar system.  Taken on 3/29/2011 by <a href="/space_missions/robotic/messenger/messenger.html&edu=high&dev=">MESSENGER</a>, it shows numerous craters across the <a href="/mercury/Interior_Surface/Surface/surface_overview.html&edu=high&dev=">surface</a> of the planet.  Temperatures there can reach over 800F because Mercury is so close to the Sun and rotates so slowly.  MESSENGER entered orbit around Mercury earlier in March 2011.<p><small><em>NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington</em></small></p>New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide  support for the hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed (shown in red) polar craters. Areas where polar deposits of ice imaged by Earth-based radar are shown in yellow.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory</em></small></p>An artist's rendering of the moment of impact of a massive <a
  at the end of the Cretaceous (at the end of the <a
  Era</a>). Many
  scientists have concluded for decades that a meteorite four to six kilometers
  in diameter impacted the Earth at this time, resulting in a <a
  href="/earth/past/KTextinction.html&edu=high&dev=">mass extinction
  of dinosaurs</a> and many other life forms. Recent research suggests that
 perhaps <a
  volcanic eruptions</a> may be been responsible for the extinction.<p><small><em>Courtesy of Don Davis, NASA</em></small></p>According to <a href="">NASA scientists</a>, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space in August 2012, becoming the first spacecraft to leave the <a href="/our_solar_system/solar_system.html&edu=high&dev=">solar system</a>. The space probe is about 19 billion km from the <a href="/sun/sun.html&edu=high&dev=">Sun</a>.  <a href="/space_missions/voyager.html&edu=high&dev=">Voyager 1 and 2</a> were launched in 1977 on a <a href="/space_missions/voyager.html&edu=high&dev=">mission</a> that flew them both by <a href="/jupiter/jupiter.html&edu=high&dev=">Jupiter</a> and <a href="/saturn/saturn.html&edu=high&dev=">Saturn</a>, with Voyager 2 continuing to <a href="/uranus/uranus.html&edu=high&dev=">Uranus</a> and <a href="/neptune/neptune.html&edu=high&dev=">Neptune</a>. Voyager 2 is the longest continuously operated spacecraft. It is about 15 billion km away from the <a href="/sun/sun.html&edu=high&dev=">Sun</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</em></small></p>A group of
  Emperor penguins wait their turn to dive into the ocean near <a
  Island, Antarctica</a>
  on November 3, 2004.
Emperor penguins routinely dive to 500 meters in
  search of food. Scientists are interested in understanding how they can
  endure the stress of these dives in such an <a
  environment</a>.<p><small><em> Image courtesy of Emily Stone,   National Science Foundation</em></small></p>There are over 900 <a href="/the_universe/uts/megalith.html&edu=high&dev=">rings of stone</a> located in the British Isles. The most famous of these stone rings is of course, <a href="/the_universe/uts/stonehenge.html&edu=high&dev=">Stonehenge</a>.    The stones of Stonehenge were put in place between 3,000 B.C and 2,000 B.C. by neolithic people.Some speculate that the site was built as a temple of worship of the ancient Earth deities. Some say it was used as an <a href="/the_universe/uts/stonehenge_astro.html&edu=high&dev=">astronomical observatory</a> of sorts. Still others say it was a burial ground.<p><small><em>  Image courtesy of Corel Photography.</em></small></p>

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