Mercury’s Transit Captured by Hinode

The Japanese solar observing spacecraft Hinode captured this photograph of Mercury’s transit this week. Hinode, formerly known as Solar B, is currently in its shakedown period, where controllers ensure that each of its scientific instruments are working. But they couldn’t pass up this opportunity, so they pointed the spacecraft at the Sun, and watched the entire transit. Hinode should resume its normal science operations next month.
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MESSENGER Flips Over to Get Some Shade

As NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft gets closer to Mercury, it’s also flying closer to the Sun. And temperatures are rising. The spacecraft rotated 180-degrees on June 21, pointing its sunshade towards the Sun. This will keep temperatures to safe levels within the spacecraft. MESSENGER will keep this shade between itself and the Sun for the remainder of its mission. The spacecraft’s next big event will be its flyby with Venus on October 24.
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