Mercury shows off its colourful side

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Scientists working on Nasa's Messenger probe to Mercury have shown off a stunning new colour map of the world.

It comprises thousands of images acquired by the spacecraft during its first year in orbit.

This is not how we would see Mercury, which would look like a dull, brownish-grey globe to our eyes.

Rather, the map represents an exaggerated view of the planet that is intended to highlight variations in the composition of its rock.

Images courtesy of Nasa.

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