At the end of each year, it has become a MESSENGER tradition to compile some of the featured images, as a way to celebrate the mission's accomplishments. Revisit the previous compilations from 2008
, and 2013
, highlighting the many views of Mercury that the mission has provided over its years of operations.
While we celebrate another successful year for MESSENGER, this posting is also bittersweet. This 2014 image compilation will be the final in the tradition. In April 2015, MESSENGER's operational mission will come to an end, as the spacecraft depletes its fuel and impacts Mercury's surface. However, the last few months of MESSENGER operations hold exciting opportunities, including science data obtained closer to the planet's surface than ever previously accomplished. And most importantly, though MESSENGER's operations will end in 2015, the extensive datasets the mission has acquired will continue to be studied for many years to come!
° January: Coloful Kertesz in Caloris
° February: 200,000!
° March: In and Out of Caloris
° April: Wonder at Waters
° May: Raditladi's Troughs
° June: The Contrasting Colors of Sander and Munch
° July: Peak-a-boo Eminescu
° August: Watch Out! The Floor's Hollow
& MESSENGER Flyover Movie
° September: Hemingway's Color
° October: The Pantheon in 3D!
& Lunar Eclipse, as Viewed by MESSENGER!
° November: On the Cutting Edge
° December: Off the Edge
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation
are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. In the mission's more than three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
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.