A Christmas Crater from Mercury. NASA is getting into the holiday theme.
The large crater in this image is named Dickens, after Charles Dickens, the English novelist who lived from 1812 to 1870. (Why the dickens? I have no idea, do you?) Among Dickens’ famous works is A Christmas Carol , the story of Bob Cratchit, his family, and horrible boss Mr. Scrooge. According to NASA, scientists studying Mercury ought to consider the Mariner 10 mission to be Christmas Past, MESSENGER to be Christmas Present, and the European Bepi-Colombo mission to be Christmas Yet To Come. The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft’s seven scientific instruments and radioscience investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System’s innermost planet.
Release Date: December 21, 2011
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Thanks to Simon Skiles , for pointing me to this site with amazing NASA images (check out the first day of winter over the midwest US and winter solstice from space): www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/6553942187/in/photostream/