PIA11353: MESSENGER Looks out on a Limb
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA11353.tif (1.05 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA11353.jpg (121.8 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 shows a portion of Mercury in previously unseen terrain, taken as MESSENGER approached the planet during its second flyby. This view is looking out toward the limb of the planet (north is to the image right). In the foreground is a region of rough, heavily cratered terrain; a large, ancient two-ring impact basin may be seen at the bottom center of the image. In the distance is a region of younger, tectonically modified smooth plains that have been pockmarked by small craters. The origin of smooth plains on Mercury remains a topic of active inquiry by the MESSENGER team.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131766496
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 420 meters/pixel (0.26 miles/pixel) at the bottom of the image
Scale: Foreground is about 430 kilometers across (270 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 16,300 kilometers (10,200 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