PIA11763: A Study in Dark and Light
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: PIA11763.tif (1.044 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA11763.jpg (206.3 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:

Visible near the top of this NAC image are two distinctive craters, imaged for the first time during MESSENGERís second Mercury flyby. The crater at upper left has light-colored material around its rim and on its floor. In contrast, the larger crater to the right is surrounded by a halo of dark material. Craters with distinctive light and dark materials were also seen during the missionís first Mercury flyby, such as the craters Poe and Sander located within the Caloris basin (see PIA10603). (The crater Sander was named in April 2008 [PIA10611], while the name of Poe just recently received official approval [PIA11762].) The dark and light materials likely represent rocks with different chemical and mineralogical compositions and as such offer an opportunity to learn about variations in the components that make up Mercuryís surface.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131771993
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 260 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel)
Scale: This image is about 260 kilometers wide (160 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 10,200 kilometers (6,300 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:
2008-12-03