NASA probe "Messenger" has completed work on mapping the surface of the planet that is closest to the Sun, the other, creating the first ever in the history of the complete map of Mercury.
"Now we can safely say that did not miss a single square meter of the surface of Mercury, to photograph each of them from orbit. Certain areas of the planet is in perpetual shadow, but to peer into these shadows helped us to our cameras," - said Sean Solomon, the supervisor Project online edition Space.com, Laboratory of Applied Physics at Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to the "Messenger", which was released into orbit around the planet in March 2011, about two years ago, almost half of the surface of Mercury on the card dealt probe "Mariner 10" flying past a few times from 1974 to 1975.
Spacecraft "Messenger" charted unknown territory, and significantly expanded the information scientists have known about the regions. In particular, they have been found such new types of geological formations, such as "Hollow" - depressions caused by evaporation of volatile substances. Meanwhile, the data obtained by the apparatus allowed to confirm the assumption of the presence of water ice in craters at the poles, which are almost constantly shaded.
In the space probe "Messenger" (MESSENGER - MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) was launched in 2004. He became the first device after the "Mariner 10", which was sent to Mercury. The orbit of Mercury spacecraft "Messenger" was released in March 2011, after analyzing its chemical and physical properties through airborne spectrometer and a high-sensitivity cameras operating in the visible and infrared range.