The Messenger spacecraft finally settled into orbit on the planet Mercury, officially becoming the first man-made object to orbit the closest planet to the Sun. Below is the first ever photo taken of the planet Mercury from the new orbiting satellite.
-check it out below:
The photo comes from the Messenger spacecraft, which took off from Earth in 2004 and which has taken plenty of flyby photos of Mercury since 2008. Earlier this month, Messenger became the first spacecraft to go into orbit around Mercury. And with that, scientists are hoping to get a much fuller sense of the inhospitable planet, addressing questions such as these: Why is Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, so dense? How big is the planet's core, and is the outer core really molten? What are the unusual materials at its poles--could that actually be ice?