The first image taken following MESSENGERís closest distance to Mercury (PIA11352) during the missionís recent flyby was a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) image. The image shown here is the first NAC image acquired after closest approach, and since the resolution of the NAC is a factor of seven higher than that of the WAC, this image is the highest-resolution image obtained during MESSENGERís second Mercury flyby. The image was taken near local dawn, so the shadows are long and many features are shrouded in darkness. The right side of this image overlaps with the left side of the previously released close-up view of Machaut crater (PIA11249), which was taken just five seconds later than this image. This portion of Mercuryís surface is heavily cratered, with small craters visible down to the limits of even this highest-resolution image.
Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131770803
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 100 meters/pixel (0.06 miles/pixel)
Scale: This image is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) across
Spacecraft Altitude: 3,800 kilometers (2,400 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.