Acquiring high-resolution 3-color images of Mercury's surface is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER's extended mission. The 3-color campaign complements the 8-color base map (at an average resolution of 1 km/pixel) acquired during MESSENGER's primary mission by imaging Mercury's surface in a subset of the color filters at the highest resolution possible. The three narrow-band color filters are centered at wavelengths of 430 nm, 750 nm, and 1000 nm, and image resolutions generally range from 100 to 400 meters/pixel in the northern hemisphere.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution 3-color imaging campaign, and shows a portion of the 196-kilometer diameter crater Sholem Aleichem. In this view, bright hollows appear to be associated with dark material, while a deposit on the crater's floor has a brighter orange hue, similar to that in areas associated with explosive volcanism.
Date acquired: April 03, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 241962499, 241962491, 241962495
Image ID: 1601144, 1601142, 1601143
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (1000, 750, 430 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 51.01°
Center Longitude: 266.4° E
Resolution: 148 meters/pixel
Scale: An edge of this image is approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles)
Incidence Angle: 62.0°
Emission Angle: 0.2°
Phase Angle: 62.0°
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 acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support 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.