This NAC image features the complex crater Copley, the bright crater located just slightly northwest of the center of this image. It's named after John Singleton Copley, an American painter known for portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England. Copley features a bright central peak and neighbors the larger crater Carducci, which is positioned just to the west of this image.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution albedo base map. The best images for discerning variations in albedo, or brightness, on the surface are acquired when the Sun is overhead, so these images typically are taken with low incidence angles. The albedo base map is a major mapping campaign in MESSENGER's extended mission and will cover Mercury's surface at an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.
Date acquired: March 29, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 241497908
Image ID: 1578541
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -39.25°
Center Longitude: 275.6° E
Resolution: 197 meters/pixel
Scale: Copley is 35 km (22 miles) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 59.2°
Emission Angle: 15.6°
Phase Angle: 43.6°
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.