SAN FRANCISCO, iNews.id – Photos of Mercury passing, the least-explored planet in the Solar System, shows the planet has a crater-filled surface that resembles Earth’s Moon.
The Mercury photos are from BepiColombo, a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched from Spaceport Europe in 2018. The mission has two orbiting spacecraft, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. .
The mission is planned to reach Mercury’s orbit by the end of 2025. BepiColombo aims to gather more information about Mercury and its composition, and how it evolved so close to the Sun.
Temperatures on Mercury can exceed 350 degrees Celsius or about 660 degrees Fahrenheit. ESA explains where the crater came from and what the planet’s surface looks like, as quoted from The Verge.
“One theory is that it probably started out as a larger body which was then stripped of most of its rock by a giant impact. This left it with a relatively large iron core, where the magnetic field was generated, and only a thin, rocky outer shell,” the ESA said. .
ESA further explained, Mercury is not equivalent to the ancient bright lunar plateau, its surface is dark almost everywhere, and was formed by an overflow of lava billions of years ago.
Editor: Dini Listiyani