NASA's little spacecraft that could, MESSENGER, has been orbiting Mercury for the past few years. But its mission is coming to an end this month when it runs out of fuel and gravity brings it to the planet's surface.
In the meantime, it's acquired immense data, including 250,000 images. Today's NASA image of the day celebrates the craft's triumphs with this spectacularly colorful display.
To accentuate Mercury's terrains and craters, NASA uses ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared spectrometry to scan its surfaces, and the image above is laid over monochrome maps to show all of the its glorious geography. Here's an even higher-res image for your rods and cones to feast on.
What a wonderful world.
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