CALORIS MONTES © 1999

A scene showing the sun viewed from the edge of the Hot Mountains on Mercury. The surface temperature in this location can be as high as 700° Kelvin. A large object hit Mercury in the distant past, forming the huge Caloris Basin and thrusting these mountains up along the rim. The landscape shows the effects of thermal shattering and erosion caused by the extreme temperature flucuations during night and day on the planet. Days are very long on Mercury as the planet has a slow rotation rate due to its proximity to the sun. Coronal streamers and prominences shoot out from our star and a huge coronal mass ejection can be seen at the lower right limb. A sun-grazing comet is seen heading towards its demise while Earth and Venus shine brightly nearby. Venus appears large and bright seen from the surface of its nearest neighbor.

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