Wednesday’s “Blood Moon” Total Eclipse As Seen From Mercury
Half the world got to see the Moon go red, clouds permitting, on Wednesday, but you didn’t need to be on Earth to witness it. The MESSENGER spacecraft turned its camera back towards the Earth and saw the moon slowly fade out of vision as the Earth blocked access to sunlight.
The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochmistry, and Ranging probe has been in orbit around Mercury since March 2011. Having completed mapping of Mercury in 2013, MESSENGER continues to produce results. It follows the publication in 2011 of a “family portrait” of the solar system with images of six planets and five moons.
The eclipse was well timed, with Mercury just eight days from its closest approach to Earth – but that still put it at well over 100 million kilometers away.