One museum, two locations
Visit us in Washington, DC and Chantilly, VA to explore hundreds of the world’s most significant objects in aviation and space history.
National Air and Space Museum in DC
Udvar-Hazy Center in VA
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A Color View of the Solar System's Innermost Planet - Mercury
As MESSENGER approached Mercury for the mission's third and final flyby of the solar system's innermost planet, the WAC acquired images through all 11 of its narrow-band color filters. The 1,000, 700, and 430 nanometer filters were combined in red, green, and blue to create this color image, the last close-up color view that was acquired before MESSENGER went into orbit around Mercury in March of 2011. Only 6 percent of Mercury's surface in this image had not been viewed previously by spacecraft, and most of the measurements made by MESSENGER's other instruments during this flyby were made prior to closest approach. The observations from MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury nonetheless revealed fresh surprises.
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National Air and Space Museum
6th St. and Independence Ave SW
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway