PIA15461: Stay on Target...
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 713 x 711 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA15461.tif (507.7 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA15461.jpg (39.88 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:

This image, taken with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), gives us a spectacular close-up look at an unnamed complex crater in Mercury's northern hemisphere. At the top we see wall terraces containing ponds of impact melt. At the bottom is the crater's central peak, which displays bright material and possibly hollows near its summit.

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: February 01, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 236617390
Image ID: 1340969
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 50.84
Center Longitude: 93.60 E
Resolution: 20 meters/pixel
Scale: The edges of the image are about 10 km (6 mi.) long.
Incidence Angle: 66.6
Emission Angle: 10.8
Phase Angle: 55.7Scale: Debussy crater has a diameter of about 80 km (50 mi.)

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:
2012-03-05