Today's image is presented in the Pop Art style of American artist Andy Warhol. The upper left panel is the original MDIS three-color image. The other three panels are colorized to simulate Warhol's iconic silk-screened paintings. The name Warhol was recently approved by the International Astronomical Union for the large impact crater at the center of the scene. Warhol crater has an unusual elongated central peak, a smooth floor probably formed from impact melt, and abundant hollows.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map is covering Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
Date acquired: October 21, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 227644290
Image ID: 911008, 911007, 91106
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: -2.5°
Center Longitude: 354.0° E
Resolution: 359 meters/pixel
Scale: Warhol crater is about 95 km (59 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 79.5°
Emission Angle: 56.3°
Phase Angle: 135.9°
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.