PIA11356: Looking Back to the Source
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: PIA11356.tif (1.044 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA11356.jpg (102.5 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:

In one of the first images transmitted back to Earth following MESSENGERís second flyby of Mercury, an image of the entire departing planet (PIA11245), a spectacular and extensive system of rays can be seen. This NAC image shows a close-up view of the apparent source of those rays, a crater 110 kilometers (68 miles) in diameter located in the northern region of Mercury. The location of this bright crater is consistent with Earth-based radar images, which suggested a very fresh, rayed impact crater in this area. The amazing extent of this large ray system is visible for the first time in MESSENGERís newly acquired images.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131774306
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 570 meters/pixel (0.35 miles/pixel) at the bottom left of the image
Scale: The extensively rayed crater is about 110 kilometers in diameter (68 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 22,000 kilometers (14,000 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:
2008-10-09