PIA14491: A Multitude of Rays
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Wide Angle
Product Size: 1391 x 1391 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14491.tif (1.937 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14491.jpg (264.7 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:

Crater rays, which are often present around fresh craters, are numerous in this image. Both Bartok crater (crater with prominent central peak in the southeast) and Schoenberg crater (north of Bartok) have visible crater rays, as do a number of unnamed craters in this image. In the southwestern-most corner of this scene is a section of a ray from Basho crater, located approximately 36 degrees longitude away from Bartok crater (one tenth of the planet in distance).

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's color base map. The color base map is composed of WAC images taken through eight different narrow-band color filters and will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 1 kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel). The highest-quality color images are obtained for Mercury's surface when both the spacecraft and the Sun are overhead, so these images typically are taken with viewing conditions of low incidence and emission angles.

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. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals..

Date acquired: June 21, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 217179524
Image ID: 409150
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: -21.91
Center Longitude: 219.6 E
Resolution: 1402 meters/pixel
Scale: The diameter of Bartok crater is approximately 116 km (72 miles)
Incidence Angle: 45.4
Emission Angle: 0.6
Phase Angle: 45.7

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:
2011-07-20