Mercury’s south pole

Mercury’s south pole

Fig. 6.6b . During its first flyby, the MESSENGER spacecraft obtained high-resolution images of a side of Mercury’s south polar region not previously seen by spacecraft (Figure 6.6a), while the opposite side, which was previously seen from Mariner 10, was imaged during MESSENGER’s second flyby (shown here). Radar-reflection data suggest that water ice might be present in the cold, dark, permanently shadowed floors of craters in the polar regions of Mercury. (Courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/CIW.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University