Though many craters are visible in this color view of Mercury's limb, Degas gets noticed. Located near the center of the image, the distinctive blue color of the low-reflectance material associated with Degas contrasts with the surrounding terrain and neighboring craters. View these previously posted web images to see Degas in high-resolution with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) or in high-resolution color with the WAC.
This image was acquired as a targeted observation that occurred simultaneously with a measurement by the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS). Targeted observations that involve both MDIS and MASCS facilitate combining the data from both instruments to understand the color and reflectance of small-scale geologic features on Mercury's surface.
Date acquired: October 06, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 258052701, 258052721, 258052705
Image ID: 2717216, 2717221, 2717217
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: 35.98°
Center Longitude: 231.2° E
Center Resolution: 533 meters/pixel
Scale: The diameter of Degas is 55 kilometers (34 miles).
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.