Today's image shows a part of the ejecta blanket of the Mozart basin. The hill at the bottom center of the image has the highest elevation measured by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), just over 4 km above the reference. A paper on findings related to Mercury's topography was published by Maria Zuber and colleagues in the journal Science.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map covers more than 99% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically are obtained at off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and have visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.
Date acquired: May 07, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 213240294
Image ID: 222814
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 11.95°
Center Longitude: 164.7° E
Resolution: 191 meters/pixel
Scale: The scene is about 115 km (71 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 79.0°
Emission Angle: 32.1°
Phase Angle: 111.1°
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.