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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 10:16 EDT
Hero Rupes Scarp
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Hero Rupes Scarp

March 17, 2003
After passing Mercury the first time and making a trip around the Sun, Mariner 10 again flew by Mercury on September 21 at 1:59 PMPDT. This encounter brought the spacecraft in front of Mercury in the southern hemisphere. Hero Rupes, the large scarp visible running across the bottom of the image, is thought to thought to have beenformed by global tectonic forces, possibly due to shrinkage of the planet as it cooled. Mariner 10 was looking obliquely acrossMercury's southern hemisphere when it acquired this dramatic shot near the beginning of its southern hemisphere pass.