Messenger Reveals Unseen Mercury

Little coming in from Messenger at this point due to some unexpected bandwidth issues at the receiving stations. Apparently there has been some Ulysses (a separate Solar observing mission) anomaly that needed tending to and has taken up the available bandwidth that had been planned for Messenger’s data. The data is reportedly fine and ready for transmission to Earth, just a delay. Mercury as seen by Messenger on Jan 14, 2008

For now the mission team has released this view of Mercury from the historic swing by on January 14. Much (if not all) of this image represents areas on the planet never before seen by human eyes. Very moon-like… hoping for something to come from this encounter that will be visually exciting for we the unwashed-masses. That said, scientists and the planetary sort are thrilled to be seeing this local neighbor which has been long overdue for a follow-up mission to the Mariner mission of 33 years ago.