Mission engineers planned five NAC mosaics for MESSENGER’s second Mercury flyby, and all of the planned images were successfully acquired. Shown here are two of those five NAC mosaics. The inset at upper right depicts the planned images, outlined in blue, superimposed on a shaded-relief map derived from Mariner 10 imaging. The two lower mosaics were produced using NAC images from the flyby. The first NAC mosaic taken following closest approach consisted of 35 images arranged in a long strip near Mercury’s equator, making a 35 column x 1 row mosaic. This long and thin mosaic is shown across the bottom of the figure. The left-most image of this long strip is the highest-resolution image acquired during Mercury flyby 2 (see PIA11372). The second NAC mosaic obtained following closest approach was much larger, with images arranged in a pattern of 15 columns x 13 rows. This large mosaic is shown in the middle of the figure and covers the majority of the “gore” (see PIA11397) in the Mariner 10 images. Both mosaics are shown in a simple cylindrical map projection. The mosaics shown here are considerably smaller in data volume than the highest-resolution versions made from the flyby images, which have resolutions of 130 meters/pixel (0.08 miles/pixel or 140 yards/pixel) for the first NAC strip mosaic and 260 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 280 yards/pixel) for the subsequent large 15 x13 mosaic.
Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131770803-131772268
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: The mosaics above have a resolution of about 3 kilometers/pixel (1.9 miles/pixel)
Scale: Mercury’s radius is 2440 kilometers (1520 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 3,800-11,600 kilometers (2,400-7,200 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.