This high-resolution NAC image shows a view of Mercury's dawn terminator, the division between the sunlit dayside and dark nightside of the planet, as seen as the MESSENGER spacecraft departed the planet during the mission's second Mercury flyby. This frame is just one of 195 images that make up the second NAC mosaic obtained following closest approach (see PIA11767). A mosaic is a series of images that form a larger picture, in this case a high-resolution view of a portion of Mercury's northern hemisphere. This image is also just one of the 1287 total images acquired during Mercury flyby 2. Last week, all of the images (as well as data from MESSENGER's other instruments) collected during Mercury flyby 2 were made publicly available on NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) website, giving scientists around the world access to this exciting new dataset.
Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108829034
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 590 meters/pixel (0.37 miles)
Scale: Moody is 80 kilometers (50 miles) in diameter
Spacecraft Altitude: 23,100 kilometers (14,300 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.
Photojournal Note: Data for MESSENGER MDIS can be found via the Planetary Image Atlas.