PIA15393: A Colorful Complex
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Wide Angle
Product Size: 1597 x 1423 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA15393.tif (6.829 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA15393.jpg (233.7 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:

A colorful view of a complex region is shown in this image. The high-reflectance and hollow-filled floor of de Graft crater is visible at center left, and a similar high-reflectance smaller crater is located to the northeast. Streaking across the scene from north to south are rays from Hokusai crater, located over 1,500 km away.

This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 250-meter/pixel (820 feet/pixel) morphology base map or the 1-kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel) color base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution during MESSENGER's one-year mission, but several areas of high scientific interest are generally imaged in this mode each week.

Date acquired: September 22, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 225143097, 225143117, 225143101
Image ID: 790098, 790103, 790099
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 24.00
Center Longitude: 6.67 E
Resolution: 421 meters/pixel
Scale: De Graft crater is approximately 68 km (42 miles) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 26.8
Emission Angle: 22.5
Phase Angle: 39.3

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.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2012-02-21