In the 1970s, Mariner 10 photographed less than half of Mercury's surface. MESSENGER's mission is to enter orbit around the planet, complete the detailed mapping of Mercury and return data about magnetic fields and particles in the planet's vicinity.
The best chance to see Mercury will be from February 20 to March 12. The planet will, from our point of view, have moved far enough from the Sun's glare to be visible shortly after sunset. Mercury will reach greatest elongation from the Sun on March 5, reaching a relatively bright magnitude of about -1.