The central graphic shows a portion of Rembrandt basin (715 kilometers, or 444 miles, in diameter) as an anaglyph, or a three-dimensional (3D) image. Standard 3D glasses (which can be assembled at home), with a red filter in front of the left eye and a blue filter in front of the right, can be used to view this picture. This anaglyph was made by overlaying two mosaics of the same area of Mercury taken from different angles. The viewing directions for the images of Rembrandt acquired during MESSENGER's third flyby (M3) on September 29, 2009, and second flyby (M2) on October 6, 2008, differ by approximately 20°. Combining the two viewing geometries creates a stereo effect, allowing the perception of exaggerated depth when viewed through 3D glasses. Here, the M2 image in red was superposed on the M3 image in blue to create the 3D image.
The interior of Rembrandt has undergone extensive modification by tectonic forces, impact cratering, and volcanism. This 3D image helps to visualize the topography of the basin. The images acquired by MESSENGER during its orbital mission phase (which begins in March 2011) will allow most of the surface to be represented in 3D!
Dates Acquired: October 6, 2008, and September 29, 2009Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)Scale: The shadowed impact crater near the center of Rembrandt (right side of the image) is ~ 44 kilometers (27 miles) in diameter.
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.