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Last Updated: Thursday March 31 2011 16:20 GMT

First Mercury pics from Messenger spacecraft in orbit

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

Have a look at these new pics of Mercury - the first ever to be taken by a spacecraft orbiting the planet.

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

The bright spot near the top is a big crater on Mercury's surface called Debussy. Its 'rays' extend for hundreds of miles.

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

These amazing snaps were taken by Nasa's Messenger spacecraft, the first to travel all the way round Mercury.

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

This pic shows an area of Mercury never captured before. It was snapped about 280 miles above the planet.

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

Spacecraft Messenger was launched more than six years ago. Its 'meeting' with Mercury took place more than 96 million miles from Earth!

Mercury photographed by spacecraft Messenger - the first ever to take images while in orbit around the planet

Mercury is the planet closest to our sun and surface temperatures can reach more than 400C! Messenger will now continue mapping Mercury over the next month.