PIA11351: A View Over Mercury's Horizon
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1018 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA11351.tif (1.044 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA11351.jpg (127.8 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:

This image was taken about 54 minutes before MESSENGERís closest approach to Mercury during the missionís second flyby of the innermost planet in the Solar System. The striking image shows a view looking over Mercuryís horizon into the darkness of space. The surface in this image is located in the northern portion of the sunlit, crescent-shaped planet seen as the spacecraft approached Mercury (see PIA11247). The low Sun angle creates distinct shadows, enhancing the visibility of the roughness of the surface, which is especially prominent for material ejected from, and surrounding, the impact crater cut by the left edge of this image.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131766595
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 410 meters/pixel (0.25 miles/pixel) near the bottom of the image
Scale: The bottom length of the image is about 420 kilometers (260 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 16,000 kilometers (9,900 miles)

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:
2008-10-08