This latest image from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, now in its extended mission around Mercury, shows a color view of a section of the first planet’s rugged and sun-blasted surface.
The upper part of this view of Mercury’s surface includes a swath of material that has reflectance that does not strongly increase toward longer wavelengths, a property described as relatively “blue” in color. The bluish material also has lower overall reflectance than Mercury’s average surface. The terrain to the south and west has a more reddish color. A major puzzle of Mercury’s geology is the identity of the particular rock types that correspond to these colors.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington