PIA14866: Mapping Spectral Variations on Mercury with MASCS
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MASCS
Product Size: 1200 x 602 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14866.tif (2.17 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14866.jpg (179.2 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:

The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) collects spectra at ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths. Seen here are individual MASCS observations from the first Mercury solar day in orbit mapped over a mosaic of images obtained with MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS). The strongest spectral variations seen by MASCS are at ultraviolet wavelengths. In this color composite, red is 575 nm reflectance, green is the spectral slope (i.e., a measure of the increase in reflectance with increasing wavelength) from the visible to the near-infrared, and blue is a ratio of spectral slopes (the ultraviolet/visible slope over the visible/near-infrared slope). This combination, notably the blue-purple-pink ranges, indicates areas where the ultraviolet variations correlate with geological features.

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:
2011-10-05