PIA16527: MLA Reflectivity near the North Pole
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MLA
Product Size: 1280 x 720 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16527.tif (2.766 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16527.jpg (174 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Map of MLA reflectivity showing isolated areas of brighter and darker reflectance in areas of permanent shadow. Many of the brighter areas detected by MLA (as indicated by the arrows) are in unusually cold regions where surface water ice is predicted. In some cases, the dark regions are somewhat larger than the areas predicted to have thermally stable water ice.

Instrument: Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA)

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.

For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2012-11-30