The above limb image shows the location of the basin Tolstoj. The interior of Tolstoj is filled with smooth plains while the exterior is largely Low Reflectivity Material. Images such as this provide a stunning view of Mercury's surface.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's limb imaging campaign. Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury's limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury's shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury's northern hemisphere.
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 212797716
Image ID: 202274
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: -8.04°
Center Longitude: 200.7° E
Resolution: 2216 meters/pixel
Scale: The image above shows ~2770 km (1721 mi.).
Incidence Angle: 60.1°
Emission Angle: 48.1°
Phase Angle: 96.8°
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.