First Pictures of Mercury Received on Earth

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At 5:20 am EDT on Mar. 29, 2011, MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury. This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Photographs of Mercury have come to earth for the first time. The Messenger spacecraft entered Mercury's orbit on March 17 and has just sent back its first batch of photographs. The very first image received shows a crater near the planet's southern pole, an area that has never been seen before. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of "Star Talk Radio." He helps explain why these photos are important.

Guests:

Neil deGrasse Tyson

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