The space probe flew 200 km from Mercury. Look what he saw

The Mercury Transfer Module of the BepiColombo mission photographed the surface of Mercury after its second rendezvous with

planet.The picture was taken at 12:49 Moscow time at a distance of about 920 km, five minutes after the flyby of the planets. The ESA notes that at the time of closest approach, the device was above the shadow side of the planet and could not take photographs.

The image shows large impact craters andother characteristic geological features associated with tectonic and volcanic activity. The researchers note that the surface of the planet contains traces of bombardment by comets and asteroids for 4.6 billion years. Its analysis will help to look into the secrets of the evolution of the solar system.

Source: ESA/BepiColombo/MTM

The ESA report notes that the science chamber withhigh resolution while covered with a protective case. It will be used during the main mission, when the ship enters the orbit of Mercury. Therefore, three auxiliary cameras are now used to create images. They can only take black and white pictures at a resolution of 1024x1024 pixels.

BepiColombo is a joint mission of the EuropeanSpace Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The mission includes two research modules at once, which will operate in different elliptical orbits: the European module will move in an inner orbit at an altitude of 480 to 1,500 km, and the Japanese probe for studying the magnetosphere will move at an altitude of 590 to 11,640 km.

apparatus orbits. Source: ESA/ATG medialab

The mission is expected to start scientific work in2025. To orbit Mercury, a spacecraft needs to complete nine planetary flybys: one on Earth, two on Venus, and six on Mercury. The ship launched in October 2018 and completed its fifth flyby today. In more detail about the second gravitational maneuver near Mercury, Hi-Tech wrote earlier.

Cover image: ESA

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