This fascinating limb view shows Mercury's southern hemisphere. Highlighted in this image is Basho, with its dark halo and bright ray system, in the upper left, along with Han Kan and its prominent rays to the right, near the terminator.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's limb imaging campaign. Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury's limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury's shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury's northern hemisphere.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing.
Date acquired: June 13, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 216435840
Image ID: 372310
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: -58.71°
Center Longitude: 161.3° E
Scale: Mercury's radius is approximately 2440 km (1516 mi.)
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.