For Valentine's Day, it seems appropriate to feature Shakespeare basin, named for the English poet and playwright and author of a famous collection of sonnets, some focussing on love. "Shall I compare thee" to other large basins on Mercury? If so, check out Rembrandt, Tolstoj, Rachmaninoff and Beethoven.
This mosaic was assembled from eight images that were 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: April 26 - 28, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 212372542, 212415875, 212416002, 212459333, 212459461, 212459565, 212502921, 212503025
Image ID: 181841, 183945, 183946, 185952, 185953, 185954, 188123, 188124
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 48.5°
Center Longitude: 208° E
Resolution: 240 meters/pixel
Scale: Shakespeare basin has a diameter of 400 km (250 miles)
Incidence Angle: 73°
Emission Angle: 0.6°
Phase Angle: 75°
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.
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.