The year 2008 has been an eventful and historic one for both the MESSENGER mission and Mercury science. When 2008 began, only 45% of Mercury surface had been seen by spacecraft. Then in 2008, the MESSENGER mission flew by Mercury twice, first on January 14 and again on October 6, capturing images of previously unseen terrain. Now, as 2008 comes to its end, imaging coverage of Mercury's surface is about 90%. The MESSENGER mission still has much to look forward to, with a third Mercury flyby in 2009 and orbiting Mercury beginning in 2011. But for the moment, let's reflect back on 2008, with the help of 12 MESSENGER images:
• January: MESSENGER's First Look at Mercury's Previously Unseen Side
• February: Craters in Caloris
• March: Exploring the Evolution of the Caloris Basin
• April: Discovering New Rupes on Mercury
• May: Mercury's First Fossae
• June: By Dawn's Early Light
• July: Caloris Basin - in Color!
• August: Mapping a Volcano
• September: Mercury - in 3D!
• October: "A" Spectacular Rayed Crater
• November: Peak-Ring Basin Close-Up from the Second Mercury Flyby
• December: MESSENGER Discovers an Unusual Large Basin on Mercury
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.