PIA14080: Exploring the Rays of Debussy
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1024 x 1020 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14080.tif (1.046 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14080.jpg (154.9 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:

Bright rays, consisting of impact ejecta and secondary craters, spread across this NAC image and radiate from Debussy crater, located at the top. The image, acquired yesterday during the first orbit for which MDIS was imaging, shows just a small portion of Debussy's large system of rays in greater detail than ever previously seen. Images acquired during MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby showed that Debussy's rays extend for hundreds of kilometers across Mercury's surface. Debussy crater was named in March 2010, in honor of the French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918).

On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. The mission is currently in its commissioning phase, during which spacecraft and instrument performance are verified through a series of specially designed checkout activities. In the course of the one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the science questions that the MESSENGER mission has set out to answer.

Date Acquired:March 29, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):209885555
Image ID:65082
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude:-36.4
Center Longitude:16.1 E
Resolution:300 meters/pixel (0.19 miles/pixel)
Scale: Debussy crater has a diameter of 80 kilometers (50 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:
2011-03-30