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NASA releases new, detailed images of Mercury

In this image provided by NASA Thursday June 16, 2011 shows Mercury forming a beautiful crescent shape in this image, acquired as the MESSENGER spacecraft was high above Mercury's southern hemisphere on May 24, 2011. The spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury on March 18, 2011, becoming the first spacecraft ever to do so. (NASA)

June 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
NASA has released new data on Mercury as well as tens of thousands of photographs of the planet closest to the sun.

The new information came from Messenger, the first spacecraft to orbit the planet.

Despite the fact that Mercury is the closest to the sun, the data revealed that portions of the planet may be covered in ice.

Spacecraft Messenger also collected extensive measurements of the chemical composition of the planet's surface.