This spectacular color mosaic shows the eastern limb of Mercury as seen by MESSENGER as the spacecraft departed the planet following the mission's first Mercury flyby in January 2008. The colors of this image are not those that would be seen by the human eye but instead convey information about the distribution of different rock types on Mercury's surface. The Caloris basin, visible as a large bright yellow circular area in this image due to its infill of volcanic plains, dominates the northern region.
Image Number: NASA-PIA12842
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For print or commercial use, please contact: Johns Hopkins/Applied Physics Laboratory