While high-resolution images of Mercury's surface provide invaluable information on Mercury's geological features and processes, also important is the weekly bird's-eye view or limb imaging. From this particular perspective, we can see a number of craters, including Debussy, Matabei, Sōtatsu, Rameau, Camões, Boccaccio, Holberg, and Spitteler.
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. 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: September 06, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 223766422
Image ID: 724516
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: -65.64°
Center Longitude: 339.3° E
Resolution: 2799 meters/pixel
Scale: Mercury's radius is 2440 km (1516 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.