PIA02938: Field of Bright Rays
 Target Name:  Mercury
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mariner Venus Mercury (Mariner 10) 
 Spacecraft:  Mariner 10
 Product Size:  311 x 356 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Northwestern University 
 Producer ID:  P15041
 Addition Date:  2000-08-05
 Other  
Information: 
Mariner 10 Image Project
 Primary Data Set:  MARINER_VENUS_MERCURY_PAGE
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA02938.tif (111.9 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA02938.jpg (27.13 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

A field of bright rays--created by ejecta from a crater--radiating to the north (top) from off camera (lower right) is seen in this view of Mercury taken September 21 by Mariner 10. Source of the rays is a large new crater to the south, near Mercury's South Pole. Mariner 10 was about 48,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) from Mercury when the picture (FDS 166749) was taken at 2:01 p.m. PDT, just three minutes after the spacecraft was closest to the planet. Largest crater in this picture is 100 kilometers (62 miles) in diameter.

The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Northwestern University

Image Addition Date:
2000-08-05