It was 11:34 pm UTC on Friday, October 1 when the space probepassed by Mercury. That’s 1:34, on October 2, in metropolitan France. The photos you see here were taken five minutes after it passed near the surface of this atmospheric planet.
Arrived from the night side of Mercury, BepiColombo photographed the sunrise in Astrolabe Rupes, five minutes after having brushed the planet 199 kilometers from its surface. The probe was then 1,183 kilometers above its craters. © ESA, BepiColombo, MTM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Afterand two of Since its departure almost three years ago, the Jaxa machine and ESA have just made its first visit to the planet closest to the Sun, its final destination, around which it will permanently settle in orbit … on December 5, 2025.
It was 11:44 pm GMT on October 1 when BepiColombo took this photo of Mercury. The probe was then 1,500 miles above the planet’s surface. © ESA, BepiColombo, MTM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Annotated versions of these images taken during their remoteness mark major craters such as Lermontov, an impact basin some 166 kilometers in diameter. A region that BepiColombo will be interested in studying closely, from the beginning of its mission, in 2026.
Annotated version. © ESA, BepiColombo, MTM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
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