Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are visible from Earth with the naked eye. These planets have been observed throughout all of human history and have been the source of much fascination, worship and speculation. Except for the name of Earth, which is Germanic and Old English in origin, the planets names are derived from Roman and Greek mythology. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were given mythological names to match the other planets. After 69 years of technological innovations, humankind has now captured images of all of our planetary neighbors. Here are the first images of the planets in our solar system.
9. Mercury, 1974
NASA launched the Mariner 10 space probe, which collected our first images of both Venus and Mercury, in November of 1973. Our first clear image of Mercury’s cratered moon-like surface was captured in March of 1974. With Mercury being so close to the Sun, thermal blankets and a sunshade needed to be installed on the probe. This mosaic of Mercury is composed from 18 images that were taken during a 13-minute period from a distance of 125,000 miles from the surface. It’s still a remarkable view.http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/image/planetary/mercury/mercuryglobe1.jpg Source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov