NASA’s Messenger spacecraft recently made its third flyby of Mercury, in order to get a gravity boost that will enable it to enter into orbit around Mercury in 2011. Scientists used the close encounter to capture images of Mercury's surface that had never been seen before.
Messenger’s cameras revealed an additional five percent of Mercury previously unseen by spacecraft even after the three flybys by Mariner 10 in 1974-75 and Messenger's two previous flybys in 2008. The new images show many interesting surface features, including impact craters, smooth plains, and an intriguing double-ring basin.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.