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NASA releases 1st photo of Mercury taken by spacecraft in orbit

NASA has released what it believes is the first photo of Mercury ever taken by a spacecraft in orbit.

March 30, 2011 12:35:37 AM PDT
NASA has released what it believes is the first photo of Mercury ever taken by a spacecraft in orbit.

The photo of the solar system's innermost planet was snapped Tuesday morning by the Messenger craft. The photo shows an unusual, dark-rayed crater on the top.

The region near Mercury's south pole is shown toward the bottom of the image.

More than 300 images were sent back to NASA by the spacecraft. More photos were expected to be released later on Wednesday.