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The BepiColombo space mission is sending its first image from Mercury showing craters and plains on the planet

The BepiColombo space mission is sending its first image from Mercury showing craters and plains on the planet

The image sent by the joint mission BepiColombo from the European Union and Japan shows part of Mercury’s northern hemisphere, including many plains and craters.

European Space Agency (ESA) inform On Saturday (2) the joint European-Japanese mission BepiColombo took a picture of Mercury on October 1, 2021, when the spacecraft passed the planet in a gravity-assisted maneuver.

The image was taken by Mercury Transfer Module Monitoring Camera 2 when the spacecraft was about 2,418 kilometers from the planet. BepiColombo will study all the characteristics of the planets when In orbit around Mercury.

The area shown in the photo is part of the northern hemisphere of the planet, including the great plain of Sihtu Planitia, which was flooded with lava. The rounded area is smoother and brighter than the surrounding areas are the plains around Calvino crater, called the Rudaki Plains.

© Photo / European Space Agency

An image of Mercury’s surface taken on October 1, 2021 by the Mercury Transfer Module Camera of the BepiColombo mission, about 2,418 km from the planet

The 166-kilometre-wide Lermontov Crater is also seen in the image. They look bright because they have unique properties called “cavities” where volatile elements escape into space. It also contains a slot where volcanic eruptions.

The Mercury Transport Module carries two science orbits: the European Space Agency’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Mercury Planetary Orbiter.

From the complementary orbits, the orbital instruments will study all aspects of Mercury, from its core to surface operations, the magnetic field and the exosphere, to better understand the origin and evolution of the planet closest to the sun.

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