PIA10190: MESSENGER Dances by Matisse
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1016 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA10190.tif (1.042 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA10190.jpg (200.1 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:

As the MESSENGER spacecraft approached Mercury on January 14, 2008, the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) snapped this image of the crater Matisse. Named for the French artist Henri Matisse, Matisse crater was imaged during the Mariner 10 mission and is about 210 kilometers (130 miles) in diameter. Matisse crater is in the southern hemisphere and can be seen near the terminator of the planet (the line between the sunlit, day side and the dark, night side) in both the color (see PIA10189) and single-filter, black-and-white single (see PIA10179) images released previously that show an overview of the entire incoming side of Mercury.

On Mercury, craters are named for people, now deceased, who have made contributions to the humanities, such as artists, musicians, painters, and authors. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) oversees the official process of naming new craters and other new features discovered on bodies throughout the solar system. Scientists studying and mapping unnamed features can suggest names for consideration by the IAU. The 1213 images taken by MESSENGER during its first flyby encounter with Mercury cover a large region of Mercury's surface previously unseen by spacecraft, revealing many new craters and other features that will need to be named.

Mission Elapsed Time (MET) of image: 108821375

These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2008-01-23