Watch Mercury fly across the face of the sun

To the delight of space enthusiasts worldwide, Mercury took a 7-hour trip in front of the sun this morning, its first in 10 years. The transit was visible to the naked (but hopefully protected) eye in much of Europe and North America, and NASA scientists captured the above video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory in space. Fittingly, NASA last week released the first full topographic map of the small rocky planet, New Scientist reports. Using the 10 terabytes of data from the 4-year MESSENGER mission, scientists were able to combine more than 100,000 images to map the first planet from the sun. Mercury is apparently pretty flat—with its highest peak rising 4.48 kilometers above the average elevation and its lowest point sinking to 5.38 kilometers below it. If you missed it, no worries. Just pencil 11 November 2019—the next transit date—onto your calendar.  

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