A Day on Mercury

This animation shows wide-angle camera images of Mercury’™s south polar region taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft over one complete Mercury solar day (176 Earth days). This dataset enabled the illumination conditions at Mercury’™s south polar region to be quantified, producing the map seen at the end of the movie and provided as a separate image. The map is colored on the basis of the percentage of time that a given area is sunlit; areas appearing black in the map are regions of permanent shadow. The large crater near Mercury’s south pole, Chao Meng-Fu, has a diameter of 180 km.

Video Credit: NASA

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