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New Images May Shed Light on Mercury's Mysteries

Scientists are poring over brand new images of the planet Mercury, including panoramas of one side of the planet that has never been seen before. The images are being beamed back to Earth from NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which flew past Mercury on Monday. The images should help resolve some mysteries about Mercury — such as whether the planet shriveled up, prune-like, as it was forming.

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Award-winning journalist Richard Harris has reported on a wide range of topics in science, medicine and the environment since he joined NPR in 1986. In early 2014, his focus shifted from an emphasis on climate change and the environment to biomedical research.