This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the solar system's innermost planet," Messenger mission scientists explained in a statement.

The Messenger team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down," Messenger mission scientists said.

NASA plans to hold a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday to review the latest Mercury discoveries by the Messenger probe. The spacecraft's name is short for the bulky moniker MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging.

While Messenger is the first mission ever to orbit around Mercury, it is not the first spacecraft to visit the planet. NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft flew by the planet three times in the mid-1970s.
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