PIA15408: Sprinkles of Blue
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Wide Angle
Product Size: 1158 x 1192 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA15408.tif (4.146 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA15408.jpg (207.5 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:

Firdousi is a relatively fresh impact crater approximately 96 kilometers (60 miles) in diameter. Its abundant secondary craters dominate the surroundings, and many have haloes of high-reflectance, relatively blue ejecta.

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: August 14, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 221844487, 221844483, 221844479
Image ID: 632390, 632389, 632388
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: 4.19
Center Longitude: 65.30 E
Resolution: 204 meters/pixel
Scale: Firdousi is approximately 96 kilometers (60 miles) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 37.0
Emission Angle: 14.6
Phase Angle: 51.7

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:
2012-02-22