PIA12262: Hello, Mercury!
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12262.tif (1.05 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12262.jpg (13.6 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:

With four days remaining until MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury, MDIS captured this NAC image of the approaching planet. Mercury appears as a sunlit crescent, and the MESSENGER spacecraft is quickly approaching at a speed of approximately 3.3 kilometers/second (7,400 miles/hour)! View this animation to watch the many instrument observations planned for the upcoming encounter next week.

Date Acquired: September 25, 2009
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 162359963
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 33 kilometers/pixel (21 miles/pixel)
Scale: Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 1,300,000 kilometers (810,000 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:
2009-09-25