This image was taken with an extremely high incidence angle, indicating that the depicted surface is close to the terminator. Unlike a low incidence angle, at which color observations are optimal, a high incidence angle highlights surface morphology. The image was taken relatively near the north pole of Mercury, a region that receives little sunlight.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel). Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically have off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.
Date acquired: June 19, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 216930156
Image ID: 396833
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 85.74°
Center Longitude: 253.1° E
Resolution: 163 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is approximately 125 km (78 mi) across
Incidence Angle: 88.7°
Emission Angle: 46.9°
Phase Angle: 135.6°
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.