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MESSENGER 2011 - A Year in Review
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MESSENGER 2011 - A Year in Review

January 11, 2012
As we prepare to bid farewell to 2011, the MESSENGER spacecraft is now nine months into its orbital mission. The scientific products that MESSENGER has returned have given planetary scientists and space enthusiasts around the world a chance to better understand Mercury's formation, surface composition, and unique atmosphere-magnetosphere system. The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) has captured >99.9% of Mercury's surface in high resolution, including previously unseen terrain. As the mission moves forward into 2012, we are excited to continue to unravel the mysteries of this planet of extremes. Let's take a look back at some of this year's highlights: January: Are we there yet? February: Getting closer... A Solar System Family Potrait, from the Inside Out (second row) March: Mercury Orbit Insertion! First Image Ever Obtained from Mercury Orbit (top left) April: X Marks the Spot (top middle) May: Another Look at Atget (top right) June: What Happens in Degas Stays in Degas (bottom left) July: Memories of Many Mixed Materials (third row, middle) August: A Crater in CloseUp (third row, left) September: Stunning Landforms in Raditladi Basin (third row, right) October: The First Solar Day (fourth row, left) November: Hurrah for the Red and the Blue (fourth row, right) December: The Bright Rays of Mena (bottom middle), and Mercury Globe: North Pole (bottom right) Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington


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